The Department of Education is sending mass notices to borrowers who have been approved for student loan forgiveness as a result of alleged misconduct at school. Hundreds of thousands of borrowers will not have to repay their student loans under a mass release initiative.
“The Department of Education…has determined that the loan(s) you have received…are eligible for a full loan discharge,” read an email sent to thousands of borrowers. “This means that the remaining balance on the loan(s) will be cancelled. You no longer have to make any payments on the loan(s). »
Here’s what borrowers need to know.
Student loan forgiveness due to academic misconduct
The Biden administration is providing mass student loan forgiveness relief through Borrower Defense Until Repayment, a program designed to address academic misconduct related to false promises about student life essentials. educational programs.
In June, the administration announced that 560,000 borrowers who attended Corinthian colleges would receive automatic student loan forgiveness through borrower defense until repayment, whether or not they applied for relief or submitted a formal request for defense from the borrower. The national for-profit school chain, which collapsed in 2015, has been accused of intentionally misrepresenting placement rates and false advertising.
“Every student cheated, defrauded and indebted by Corinthian colleges can be assured that the Biden-Harris administration has their back and will repay their federal student loans,” U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement. press release accompanying the June announcement.
Then, in August, the Biden administration announced that another 200,000 borrowers who attended ITT technical institutes would also receive automatic student loan forgiveness. Like Corinthian, ITT was accused of widespread misconduct related to admission and placement rates before collapsing in 2016. Borrowers who attended ITT from January 1, 2005 to its closure in September 2016 would be eligible for a waiver of group, even if they didn’t. submit a formal Borrower Defense Request.
Mass emails sent to thousands of borrowers this week indicate the Department of Education is making progress on its promise to erase federal student loan debt for these borrowers and others who attended predatory establishments.
What borrowers need to know about automatic student loan forgiveness
In addition to student loan forgiveness, borrowers who qualify for relief through this automatic group discharge process may also receive refunds of previous payments made on these loans. And borrower credit reports should be updated to reflect discharges once they are processed.
“You may also receive a refund for previous payments made to the Department on your discharged loan(s),” the Department of Education’s email reads. “Your repairer will let you know if you are eligible for a payment refund, which will be mailed to you…Your credit report will also be updated to reflect this discharge once it is complete.”
The Education Department encourages borrowers to update their mailing address to ensure they receive important correspondence, as well as repayment checks.
“Please check your online account with your loan officer to ensure your address is correct so that you can receive any refunds,” the Education Department says. “Otherwise, you don’t have to do anything else to receive your discharge.”
Borrowers can obtain contact information for their current loan officer by logging into their Department of Education portal at StudentAid.gov.
Payments for applicable loans will be suspended even after the student loan payment break ends
It may still take some time for the waivers to fully take effect, but the Department of Education says applicable loans will remain in administrative forbearance, with no payments due, until the waiver is complete. This means that even if the current student loan payment pause ends on December 31, these borrowers will continue to have their payments suspended.
Separately, the Biden administration is also considering an extension of the ongoing student loan pause for all borrowers with government-held federal student loans.
Relief is separate from other student loan forgiveness initiatives
It is important to note that this latest round of student loan forgiveness is entirely separate from other recent relief announced by the Biden administration, including the following:
Further Reading on Student Loan Forgiveness
Court approves $6 billion in student loan forgiveness for 200,000 borrowers to resolve lawsuit
8 Signs Biden Could Really Extend Student Loan Pause
Student Loan Forgiveness Status: 6 Updates After Multiple Court Lockdown Eases
Can you apply for multiple student loan forgiveness programs? Yes – with some caveats