You Can Do Everything Right and Still Get Screwed: Student Debt Forgiveness Gone Horribly Wrong.

“I don’t have any control over this process at all.”

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On this week’s episode of the Mother Jones Podcast, the rage-inducing inside story of America’s student debt machine: how the nation’s flagship loan forgiveness program is failing the very people it’s meant to help. You’ll hear disturbing firsthand accounts of how the mismanaged Public Service Loan Forgiveness has left participants swimming in debt, even as they diligently keep abreast of new payments—stories that should be outliers, but turn out to be all too common.

“At this point, I’m kind of resigned to the fact that I don’t have any control over this process at all,” Leigh McIlvaine tells the Mother Jones Podcast. “I still owe $70,000 on my original $70,000 balance.” 

McIlvaine is one of the several debt-soaked workers that reporter Ryann Liebenthal interviewed for Mother Jones‘ latest magazine cover story. By the time she finds herself at the end of the forgiveness program, McIlvaine will have paid close to the original amount she borrowed. “Yet when we talk about her forgiveness,” explains Liebenthal, “it’ll sound like she got $70,000 of forgiveness—as though she kind of took the government for a ride.”

Listen below: 

Also on the show: DC Bureau Chief David Corn tries to make sense of that bizarre Roger Stone video on Instagram, where the former Trump adviser denies the president had any prior knowledge of the Wikileaks dump of Democratic emails. Stone says media outlets might be preparing to publish claims they overheard him giving a heads up to the President about Wikileaks’ actions. “If Roger Stone knew this, who else knew this?” Corn asks. “And was there any—here comes the word—collusion?” Corn also explains the implications of Paul Manafort—Trump’s former campaign chair who was recently found guilty of  tax and bank fraud—having reportedly discussed a plea deal before his second trial in mid September. 

You can listen to these conversations on the Mother Jones Podcast and subscribe using any of the following services:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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