Urge Key Bank to Forgive Dead Students’ Loans

Target: Beth E. Mooney, CEO of KeyCorp

Goal: Forgive loans for deceased students

Student loan debt has overtaken credit card debt in the United States: students now collectively owe over $1 trillion dollars for college. Interest rates are skyrocketing too: current interest rates on Stafford loans are 6.8%. And not all the students who owe money are even around to pay it back. One woman writes that her son, Cameron, still owes money to Key Bank after committing suicide over a year ago.

Cameron, an Air Force cryptologist, suffered a traumatic brain injury from his service. His mother had co-signed his loan. As soon as he died, Key Bank began calling her to collect his debt. She is a single mother with other children, and she can barely afford to pay their bills. Her insurance doesn’t cover counseling for the family, so they have to pay out-of-pocket.

Cameron’s other loans were forgiven after his death. Federal government loans are always forgiven upon the death of the student. Wells Fargo, Sallie Mae, Discover, and Citi Financial also forgive student loans if the student dies. Key Bank forgave the loans of another deceased student, Christopher Bryski, in 2012.

Urge Key Bank to forgive all student loans if the student dies.


Dear Ms. Mooney,

We are writing to ask you to forgive all Key Bank student loans for deceased students.

Student loan debt is now over $1 trillion dollars, and the average debt is about $26,000. Many students can’t afford to make those payments when they graduate, and it can be even harder for their families to do so.

Kimberly Akers co-signed her son Cameron’s student loan before he left school to join the Air Force. He suffered a traumatic brain injury during his service, and committed suicide. Key Bank is the only lending institution that has continued to hold Ms. Akers responsible for Cameron’s loan. She is a single mother, and cannot afford to make the payments.

Key Bank forgave Christopher Bryski’s loans in 2012, long after he died in 2006. We commend you for this, but we think you should forgive all loans for deceased students as soon as you are aware of their deaths.


[Your Name Here]

photo credit: erintongay via Flickr

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  1. Boycott of KeyCorp and its business affiliates might be appropriate.

  2. bernard cleyet says:

    Yes, if co-signed, the co-signer is responsible. However, I suggest shaming the company is, IMAO, morally acceptable. I suggest all co-signers demand an exclusion for death or disability, or insurance for the previous. A law requiring same would be another solution, tho impossible until the Republican party changes. Finally, a previous poster is completely wrong on the company being out of business. Student deaths are too rare for that, and yes other borrowers would pay, but so do the insured (‘bile, et alia) who never make a claim.

  3. If you co-signed a loan you should have known that you are obligated to repay if the primary borrower can’t. Would you have had the money if your son defaulted on his payments in a different situation? You should sign or co-sign a loan if you can’t afford it. How is it fair to the bank if you don’t honor your commitment? Do the honorable thing and make good on the contract you signed. I’m sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine your pain

  4. Margaret Ann Barrett says:

    I actually hate Key Bank and would never do business with them again. My husband signed for a loan over 8 years ago and I was the co-signer. Since that time my husband has been inflicted with 3 Medical complications, the most significant being Parkinson. We have 5 accts. with them totalling 110,000, they are attaching 7000 in interest and I told them we can pay only 60.00/month, but they continue to harass us.

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