After a former college student shared her heartbreaking family story on CNN last month, her student loans totaling $54,000 were completely wiped off the bank’s ledger within hours.
Rhea Shannon, 26, a graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC, was left without a parent to help repay the debt after her father died serving in Afghanistan. Her soldier dad had been a huge advocate for continuing education, so he cosigned on her loan before reenlisting to help pay them off.
Shannon could not keep up with the payments, was grieving, and having to face collectors alone, when she told CNN Money her story. Within two hours of the broadcast, she received a call from the Tragedy Assistance Program (TAPS) who informed her she no longer owed a cent because the nonprofit organization, which supports families after the death of a service member, has a partnership with JP Morgan Chase.
The debt was forgiven through the mega-bank’s Military Survivor Program, which is always on the lookout for cases like Shannon’s. Since the program started in 2013, JPMorgan has forgiven $4.3 million in student loans, car loans, mortgages, and credit card debt held by fallen service members.
And, while the heavy burden was being lifted from Shannon’s shoulders, she also learned about a TAPS scholarship that will cover her Master’s degree.
“Thank you God, and thank you Dad,” she told CNN.
(WATCH video below from CNN Money)