On Wednesday, Jasmin Ford thought she was just participating in a documentary about student loans; little did she know, her $150,000 student loan debt was about to be lifted off her shoulders.
Ford was the first in her family to graduate from college and eventually received a Master’s degree in nursing years later. However, with no financial help from family, she was forced to take out massive student loans just to cover tuition, food, rent, and other necessities.
“I could not foresee when I’d be able to pay it off,” Ford said of her debt. “I just knew this was going to be a part of my life as long as I was alive unless there was some significant change, which -- wow.”
Ford’s surprise was made possible by Fifth Third Bank, which selected her to be in a documentary on student loan debt. On the day of the big gift, Ford just thought the film crew was coming back to shoot some additional video. Then they revealed her student loan debt was gone.
“I still can’t find the words,” Ford said Thursday. “I’m off work again today and I’m just sort of pacing around and restless because I know my life is going to change.”
Ford said life will also change for her son, Caleb. Previously, Ford worked two jobs almost every day of the week. Now, she can’t wait to pull back on work and spend more time with her family.
“I just imagine being able to spend more time physically with my family, not having to hustle, having mental freedom and with that, some spiritual freedom,” she said. “I can open myself to more experiences, opportunities and just be able to sit and be with my thoughts and be able to pursue what it is I came to do.”
“His life will be totally different,” she added. “I’m so happy and so proud that I’m able to offer that to him more than anything else because he deserves it.”