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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Student loan defaulters may lose licenses

Defaulting on student loans can be a career ender, reports the New York Times. Nineteen states suspend state-issued professional licenses if residents fall behind on loan payments,” write Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Stacy Cowley and Natalie Kitroeff. “Another state, South Dakota, suspends driver’s licenses, making it nearly impossible for people to get to work.”

Debra Curry, a nurse in Georgia, pays $1,500 monthly on student loans to keep her license. Photo: Audra Melton/ New York Times

“Firefighters, nurses, teachers, lawyers, massage therapists, barbers, psychologists and real estate brokers have all had their credentials suspended or revoked,” they report.

“Many student loans are backed by guarantees by the state or federal government, which foot the bills if borrowers default,” reports the Times. Faced with losing their licenses, most debtors pay up.

But some can’t afford to pay their debts until they regain their licenses.

A single mother, Tabitha McArdle earned $48,000 as a teacher in Houston, but fell behind on her monthly $800 student loan payments, reports The Times. “In March, the Texas Education Agency put her on a list of 390 teachers whose certifications cannot be renewed until they make steady payments. She now has no license.”

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