Indy mom’s decade-old student loan debt prevents daughter from enrolling in college

ATLANTA -- An Indianapolis girl is trying to figure out a plan-b after she says she was turned away from college because of her mother’s student loan debt.

“I was just excited to move in and go to college,” said Nayya Martinique.

This week, Nayya and her family drove eight hours from Indianapolis to Atlanta, only to find out she was not financially eligible to start school.

“I am upset but I am trying to remain positive,” said Martinique.

The teens say she went to Spelman’s financial aid office during orientation and was told she still needed to pay for the move-in. Nayaa says she had already taken out as many loans as she could, so her mom tried, but says she was denied.

“When we got to Spelman, that is when I became aware of this outstanding balance that was stopping me from being able to take out a loan for her,” said Nayaa’s mom Tjai Downs.

Tjai is a veteran and a teacher and says she had previously taken out her own college loans back in 2008. She says she never knew about the loans because they were being sent to an old address.

“This is a small thing that happened so many years ago but has reared its ugly head and I think a tweak in my own organization skills would have helped prevent this situation,” said Downs.

Peter Dunn aka Pete the Planner says this whole thing could have been prevented with a simple credit check.

“Running your credit report every year would have sniffed this out years ago. This is going to be on her credit report,” said Dunn.

A credit check would have found the unpaid debt, no matter what address it was going to.

“Do not get in the car to get to campus without knowing how you are going to pay for it,” said Dunn.

Now, Nayaa and her family are trying to come up with the cash, so she can move in and start class.

“The latest that we can have the money is August 15th,” said Dunn.

If you are helping your child with the loan process, Pete the Planner suggests checking out a free-credit check website to ensure you are eligible for a loan, before heading to campus.

If you are interested in helping the family, here is a link to their GoFundme page.