Help for Heald College students?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- More trouble for former students of Heald College. Many are now discovering that their credits may not transfer and not everyone will qualify for loan forgiveness.

Nearly a month after 28 campuses, including one in Fresno, permanently shut their doors, thousands of Valley students still need help, and the options in front of them make for some difficult choices.

20-year-old Jessica Rodriguez never thought she'd find herself sitting at Central California Legal Services, trying to figure out what she should possibly do with the 21,500 she now owes in loans.

Rodriguez explained, "How am I going to pay off all that and not have an education to show for it?"

She and many others are wondering where to turn. Some, like Jessica only had a few months of school left before the campus closed. Lawyers like Frank Huerta are offering their services, trying to help students who are stuck between debt and education.

Huerta said, "It's extremely unfortunate that they're left on the hook potentially for these loans and even for those who want to continue their education find it may take longer than they originally anticipated."

While seminars like this one are helpful, Huerta says every student has a unique situation. For some the choice is clear: forgive the debt and start over. Others don't want to forfeit the years of hard work.

Huerta said, "For the Heald students that's a tough choice to essentially say I've got to restart my education from zero."

Rodriguez is leaning more towards debt forgiveness and starting over after two years. Not an easy decision, and not one that was made overnight.

"I regret it but then I don't because I got experience and good classes and at the same time I don't have a degree to show for the hard work I did," explained Rodriguez.

Just one of the many decisions thousands of former Heald students are up against, after what they thought was a promise of a good job and clear educational path.

Attorneys warn there's a number of scams out there offering the promise of debt forgiveness. They suggest you call Central California Legal Services before you take anyone up on those online offers.

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