Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment

Student Loan Forgiveness via Borrower’s Defense to Repayment

(Update: July 12th, 2017)

Betsy DeVos is at it again! As if it weren’t enough that she’s attempting to kill off the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, she’s now set her sights on destroying the Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Program as well.

July 1st was the date that Borrowers Defense to Repayment Program was set to take effect, but at the last second, Secretary DeVos pulled the plug on the whole deal, effectively “freezing” Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Discharges, because she claims that the rules created “a muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools”.

This is a lie, however, as the process is extremely straightforward, and all that she’s doing is trying to protect her friends at the corrupt For-Profit Schools and Student Loan Servicing Companies who stand to lose billions of dollars when illegal loans get discharged via Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Program rules.

Fortunately, the American people are waking up to this corruption and we’re fighting back. Please help me lead the fight by signing my Petition to Restore the Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Program, here:

What’s Wrong With Borrower’s Defense to Repayment?

Nothing! In fact, let me make one thing exceptionally clear: Borrowers Defense Against Repayment is NOT a muddled process at all. It’s a perfect program, created to help people who were swindled out of money by false advertising and corporate greed!

In fact, Borrower’s Defense is a very simple program. How does it work? Borrowers fill out a form to tell the Department of Education exactly what illegal activity the school they attended did to to trick them into taking out student loans (typically by making false promises), and if those claims are found to be true (proving that the school did violate some relevant state or Federal law), then the borrower’s loans are supposed to be discharged. That’s it! Simple!

What Betsy DeVos is doing here is proving yet again that she cares nothing for ordinary Americans, and that all her energy is being spent on propping up the corrupt, parasitic For-Profit Colleges and Student Loan Servicing Companies who may go bankrupt if Borrower’s Defense Discharges are approved for all their ill-gotten loans.

What’s So Important About Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment?

Borrower’s Defense to Repayment is so important because it’s the only avenue for getting rid of loans that never should have been taken out in the first place. It’s so important that 18 states are now suing Betsy DeVos in an attempt to force her to reinstate the program and follow through on the Federal Government’s promise to discharge these fraudulent loans.

But while the legal battle rages on, I urge you to get your Borrowers Defense Against Repayment petition letter submitted as soon as possible, in case this program does end up getting closed down for good, because it’s possible that you’ll still be able to get a discharge under something like a grandfather clause for getting your application submitted soon enough. Read through the rest of this post for details on how to fill out your application.

If you want to get help preparing the paperwork, and increasing the odds that your letter gets approved, then I recommend that you call the Student Loan Relief Helpline for assistance. This is a paid service, and you’ll have to spend a couple hundred bucks for their help, but that money may just make the difference in getting you approved to have up to tens of thousands of dollars of Federal student loans discharged, so I think it’s entirely worth the cost. You can reach the Federal Student Loan Relief Helpline by calling 1-888-906-3065.

How to Get Your Loans Discharged via Borrower’s Defense to Repayment

In 2017, the best way to get out of paying back your Federal student loans is to take advantage of the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment provision of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Many Americans have recently become aware of this excellent opportunity to receive complete forgiveness from excessive student loan debt, mostly thanks to recent developments like the formation of the ITT Tech Student Loan Forgiveness Program, the DeVry Student Loan Forgiveness Program, and the Corinthian Colleges Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

The “Defense Against Repayment” provision is an often overlooked statute buried within the U.S. Higher Education Act of 1965, but one that is growing rapidly on popularity, as it states that the Department of Education is authorized to allow students to get out of paying back their Federal student loans if they can prove that they faced “acts or omissions of an institute of higher education”.

What does that mean? Simply stated, if your school ever lied to you about anything, like overstating your job prospects, promising you salary expectations, or guaranteeing you management positions, then you can petition the Federal Government to invalidate your student loans, and discharge them entirely.

This works for any sort of violation of State or Federal laws that the school may have committed, but it also applies to student loan servicing companies (in some cases), where you’re able to get Federal Student Loan Forgiveness because the servicer lied to you, didn’t give you the right information, made some false promise, or cheated you in some way.

The Navient Student Loan Forgiveness Program is a great example of this sort of thing, where Navient failed to properly support their borrowers, and is now being sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Bottom line: while we wait for President Trump’s Student Loan Reforms to be announced, your best bet at getting your Federal loans discharged, reduced, or in some other way dealt with is to pursue a Borrowers Defense Against Repayment discharge.

But Before We Get Into How Borrower’s Defense Letters Work…

If you’re in a hurry to deal with your student loan debt, or if you don’t have hours to spend researching and creating your Defense Against Repayment Letter, then consider calling the Student Loan Relief Helpline at 1-888-906-3065.

The Student Loan Relief Helpline will take down your financial information, give you advice on your options for attacking your outstanding student loan debt, and explain how the process works.

The call and initial discussion are free, but you will also be offered the chance to pay the Student Loan Relief Helpline to take care of all the hard work involved in the Defense Against Repayment Process for you. Whether you choose to pay for that service or not, I definitely think it’s worth calling the Helpline to get assistance in figuring out your options.

And if you’re not interested… simply read on, because the rest of this post will teach you how to handle the Defense Against Repayment Process entirely on your own.

How Does the Defense to Repayment Provision Work?

It’s important that you fully understand how the defense to repayment provision works, because getting approval for a defense to repayment discharge requires making a sophisticated legal argument that your school violated the law in some way, essentially tricking you into taking on student loan debt due to their false promises that it would be worth the cost.

Receiving approval for a defense against repayment argument involves collecting evidence and presenting the Department of Education with proof “that the school did something wrong or failed to do something that it should have done”, which is provided in the form of the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment letter.

Importantly, this law also stipulates that you may only rely on the defense against repayment argument if the school’s act or omission was directly related to your loans, or to the educational services that the loan was intended to pay for, and if what the school did (or didn’t do) would be considered a violation of state law.

That means you can’t accuse the school of doing something illegal, and get your loans discharged, if their illegal behavior had no impact on your decision to take out student loans to pay for their services.

How Do You File For a Defense Against Repayment Discharge?

Perhaps the worst part of the defense to repayment process is the way that you have to pursue the discharge – you’re forced to submit information to your loan servicer, who will evaluate what you’ve presented and determine whether or not you deserve to have your loan forgiven.

What loan servicer is likely to agree to sacrifice repayment on their outstanding loans? None that I’m aware of, which means that pursuing this opportunity means you’d better be prepared for a knock-down, drag-out fight.

And in many cases, this is why it requires paying someone for assistance to get an approval for your Borrowers Defense Against Repayment letter. Lawyers, and specialty debt resolution companies are your best bet when it comes to outsourcing the work to someone else, but it’s vital that you choose carefully, because there are many scams now operating in this industry.

Where Did Borrowers Defense to Repayment Become Popular All of the Sudden?

It’s kind of funny that this little legal provision from way back in 1965 is only now starting to receive so much attention, but that’s happening for one very good reason.

The now defunct Corinthian Colleges, notorious day-time advertiser and parent company of the largest for-profit schools chain in the United States, home to Everest, Heald and WyoTech, is the reason for this provision’s newfound popularity.

When Corinthian collapsed under the weight of its own corruption (and the added pressure placed on it by a series of Federal investigations for fraud and deceptive business practices), a huge portion of it’s thousands of students found themselves between a rock and a hard place.

These were students who had racked up tens of thousands of dollars in debt, but who now had zero chance of receiving a diploma that would help them to land jobs capable of providing income streams to pay that debt back.

These were students who had sunk thousands of hours, and tens of thousands of dollars, into education programs that would never lead to degrees of any sort.

But these students decided to do something about their unique situation, and they accomplished something that no previous generation of debt-saddled college kids had managed to accomplish: they went on strike, publicly swearing to refuse to pay back their debt, and the media covered their efforts!

Birth of the Student Loan Debt Strikers

Initially called The Corinthian 15, this group of student loan strikers received a tremendous amount of media attention, raising enough awareness for their problem that the entire country began to take notice of what was going on, and earning enough sympathy to get a federal hearing scheduled with the Department of Education.

Fortunately, DOE sided with the debt strikers, and on June 8th, 2015, announced that they would support the tens of thousands of students caught up in the collapse of Corinthian Colleges.

But the best part of the whole deal was that the Department of Education was serious about their promise to help those now saddled with excessive student loan debt, as they publicly affirmed that those students would be able to qualify for a comprehensive student loan forgiveness program, governed by the old 1965 defense against repayment provision.

Forgiveness Expands Outside the Corinthian System

The great news for those of you who did not attend a Corinthian-affiliated school is that it’s not the only case under which defense against repayment may be invoked.

In fact, the Department of Education itself made clear that other schools (especially those operating in the for-profit sector), would also be covered under the conditions of the provision.

Along those lines, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau went to the mat on behalf of begrudged students by filing a lawsuit against the for-profit ITT schools, stating that ITT has “exploited its students and pushed them into high-cost private student loans that were very likely to end in default.”

And that’s serious business, because while you may not know anyone who attended an ITT school, this massive for-profit educator enrolls about 70,000 students per year (far more than most of the big schools you ARE familiar with).

That single suit seems to have opened the floodgates for others seeking to qualify under the defense to repayment provision, encouraging millions of other students who now feel like it may be possible to get out of paying back their student loans.

How Can I Apply for Defense Against Repayment Forgiveness?

While the good news is that it is possible to qualify for a discharge under the defense against repayment provision, the bad news is that it’s not an easy process.

However, at least the Department of Education has caught up with the times, and now you can find a Borrowers Defense Against Repayment form available directly from their website, here.

This has made the process much easier than it was before when only a loose set of guidelines were provided, and people had to figure out what to include, how to structure their letters, and everything else about them entirely on their own, so if you haven’t yet filled out one of these letters, now is definitely the time to get started.

Also, as I mentioned earlier in this post, what you’ll need to do is prove that your school committed some sort of fraudulent activity by either doing something, or failing to do something, which influenced your decision to enroll in their education program, but which also violated applicable state law.

If your school convinced you to sign up for their expensive program because they made promises about your ability to pay back the loan (either by inflating job placement rates, salary statistics, or some other similar data), then you’ll have a pretty good shot at qualifying for a defense against repayment discharge.

Make sure you include as much detail as possible (relevant detail), in your application letter and provide specific details about how you were lied to, what you were promised, told, or not told about, to clearly explain why you believe the school violated some law.

In your defense against repayment letter, I would encourage you to include detailed explanations of each of the following things:

How to Write a Defense To Repayment Letter

  • A written statement saying that you “Wish to assert a borrower defense to repayment based on state law”
  • Your first, middle and last name (use your official legal name)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your home address
  • Your email address
  • Your telephone number
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number
  • The name and address of the school you attended
  • The name of the certificate or degree program you earned, or were seeking to complete (both people who completed their programs, and people who didn’t, are eligible for a defense to repayment discharge)
  • The dates you were enrolled at the school
  • Documentation to prove that you were enrolled in the school, for the program you specified (use your transcripts or registration docs for this)
  • A detailed explanation of how your school defrauded you, including a description of which state law or cause of action your school violated, an explanation of how their alleged misconduct affected your decision to attend the school (and take out loans to pay for the program), and the damage you’ve suffered (likely an explanation of your ruined finances) as a result of the school’s alleged behavior

Sounds Simple, Right?

If you think that the above list of requirements seems simple, please read through them again to be sure that you fully understand what you’re being asked to provide.

This is not a simple yes/no type application, or even a basic multiple-choice type form. You’ve literally got to prove the fact that you were defrauded (lied to in some way), and screwed over by your school.

For most people, that’s not an easy argument to make, so if you aren’t a great writer, then I’d advise you consult with an attorney for assistance to ensure that your application is rock-solid.

I haven’t run into anything explaining how the appeals process will work for defense to repayment applications, and I’m not yet sure if you’ll even be offered a second round chance at getting an approval once your initial application is submitted and denied.

What’s that mean? It means you’ve got a lot to lose by screwing this up, and that you should probably pay a lawyer to review whatever you put together to ensure that you haven’t made any mistakes.

What Kinds of Things Constitute Being Defrauded?

What sorts of things can you use as examples of having been defrauded by your school? I’m glad you asked!

Let’s say your school told you that you’d be able to earn an income of $XX.XX per hour, or $XX,XXX per year after graduating from their program – there’s your argument that they defrauded you!

Or what if your school promised that completing their graduate program would let you land that coveted management position you’ve had your eyes on for so many years? There’s your argument!

In a nutshell, any promise of earning potential, job placement rates, or work title could land your school in hot water, allowing you to qualify for a defense to repayment discharge.

Keep Making Your Monthly Payments

One thing to keep in mind is that you can’t simply give up on paying back your student loans at the time you submit your defense against repayment application.

While the Department of Education WILL place your student loans into forbearance from the very moment that they receive your application, those loans will continue to generate interest even as they’re paused and DOE works on investigating your claim.

What’s that mean? You need to keep making your monthly payments until you’ve received an official, written notice from the Department of Education that your loans are being discharged. Up until that point, don’t neglect to send in that monthly check, or you might end up in even worse financial shape than when you started down the discharge path!

What Should I Do?

Here’s what I’m telling all my friends and family members facing a similar situation to your own: “Please hire a lawyer or a debt resolution company, consult with them on how best to proceed, and don’t do anything without first spending some serious time investigating this important opportunity.”

Jumping into the defense against repayment pool without first testing the waters by researching the opportunity in detail is likely to lead to disappointment, and potential financial ruin.

Be careful about how you proceed with your application, as no one really knows how all of this is going to shake out. Will it be easy to get approval for your application, or will DOE place ridiculous restrictions on handing out these forgiveness benefits?

Honestly, only very few of the Borrowers Defense to Repayment applications are being approved so far, so I’m still not entirely sure if this is a great debt forgiveness program, or a niche opportunity that only a few people will get to take advantage of.

What I do know for certain is that you’ll increase your odds of getting your debt discharged if you do hire an expert to help, and my favorite experts are the people at the Student Loan Relief Helpline.

This is a paid service that will handle all the work for you, for a cost, but your first call and discussion with them is entirely free, so my recommendation is to call them, give them the details of your situation, and see what it would cost for them to help you out.

You can reach the Student Loan Relief Helpline by calling 1-888-906-3065, and I recommend doing so as soon as possible.

Questions About Defense to Repayment Application Letters

If this all seems confusing to you, then I’ve got one final piece of good news – the Federal Government created a helpline dedicated to questions about the defense to repayment provision, and you can call it right now to get some free advice on your unique situation.

For any questions that you might have which you don’t want to ask in the comments section below, please feel free to call the Government’s official Borrower Defense Hotline at (855) 279-6207.

This hotline has representatives available to walk you through the defense to repayment process on weekdays from 8:00am to 8:00pm EST.

Other Questions?

Don’t want to call the Government helpline?

Feel free to ask anything you’d like in the comments section below.

I’ll do my best to get you a response within a day or two, though I can’t promise that I’ll have a great answer since this program still involves a great deal of mystery.

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Tim's experience struggling with crushing student loan debt led him to create the website Forget Student Loan Debt, where he offers advice on paying off student loans as quickly, and cheaply, as possible. His new website Forget Tax Debt, offers similar advice to people with back tax problems.

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  1. Actually, I don’t think Navient really is the “former Sallie Mae”, they just say that to put you off. The reason I say this is Sallie Mae in 2014, when they were doing the switch, actually has a notation in one of their publicly available corporate papers that actually says that Navient paid Sallie Mae something like 14 million for student loans.

  2. Hey Tim, great information!
    I am currently studying at DeVry University, and have had to back off of my coursework due to the climbing student loans. As it stands now, I don’t expect to graduate for another year to 1.5, though I am 80% complete with my course. I have, over the years, become less impressed and unsure of my final outcome once I complete my degree, and the recent refund provided based on federal loans has gotten me real concerned. I still need to review some old notes to validate, but I’m sure there’s some things that have not gone as they promised. I’m curious at this point whether I should finish out my degree with DeVry, or look to other schools. How would this impact any potential of filing for the Borrower’s Defense to Repayment? (I assume you cannot file while actively enrolled in the school in question).

    Note, I still need to validate that they were indeed misleading/dishonest. I am fairly certain of this, but cannot guarantee just yet. My questions are really only arising as a result of my growing discomfort being intensified by the recent events… The last thing I want to do is go through the next year making things worse for myself.

    • Hi Steve,

      You can definitely file for a Borrower’s Defense to Repayment while you’re still enrolled in the school, but it wouldn’t really set you up to get an approval if you said something like: “This school is a scam, they’ve violated these specific State or Federal laws, but even though I know that, I’m still sending them money and attending courses here”.

      I would stop all active attempts at DeVry before filing your Defense to Repayment letter, to send a clear signal to the reviewers that you are certain the school committed some sort of fraud, and that you realize the implications of that, and are attempting to wipe out the debt since it was all built on a faulty basis in the first place.

      You definitely need to make sure that you can prove they were misleading or dishonest about SOMETHING. That’s not hard to do… especially since so many other people are getting these discharges already. The Government is getting slammed with requests though, and there’s now a long queue to get an approval for your application, so I’d stop coursework now, come up with your argument, file it, and start looking at options for going somewhere else to finish your degree.

      Remember – getting approval for the discharge may also make it impossible for you to transfer credits from DeVry. You need to sort that out before you make your decision on what you’re going to do.

      I think you’re headed down the right path though, as you’re obviously taking your time, thinking critically about this, and coming up with a plan that’s going to work for YOU, so my advice is to keep at it with the analysis, then go with whatever option makes the most sense for what you’re trying to accomplish. Good luck!

  3. Hello Tim,
    First of all thank you for all of this. I called the “Student Loan Help Center” to see if they could help me prepare the letter for the Borrowers Defense to Repayment program and they were unwilling to do so. The gentleman “Jose” that I talked to would only help consolidate the loans for me. Any info on where I can go to for help with the Borrowers Defense to Repayment program now?

    • Hi Ray,

      I had a conversation with them and was assured that they are handling these and should be able to help. It’s possible you were re-routed elsewhere during off-hours, or that the guy you talked too hadn’t been trained up in it yet, but you should be able to call back and get help with it. I’ve been assured that they’re handling these and I think you just hit a bad time, or a bad rep. Sorry for the confusion and poor experience!

  4. I went to Devry during Oct 2008 to Dec 2011. The main reason for me going was the fact that I was told the cost of all the classes, books, lab fees would be around $48,000 by the admissions staff. Now I sit in a ton of debt that for north of what I was quoted. Do you think this could qualify for miss representation on their behalf and allow to apply for the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment?

    • Hi William

      YES! If they lied to you about the total costs of the program, then you could absolutely use that to qualify for a Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Discharge. I would absolutely pursue that.

  5. alex cook says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to ask my question. If I submit a borrower’s defense against payment approximately how long would I have to wait to receive a reply from the Federal Government?

    • Hi Alex,

      It’s variable and there’s really no telling how long it’ll take the Government to reply, but I’ve heard of some people getting notice within weeks, while others have been holding out for months, and some have gone over a year without a response.

  6. How long does it generally take for completed applications for Borrower’s Defense to get a response as to the actions being taken and you’re approved or denied? Are there any statistics on approval & denial? How do we know if our case is being looked at? Does it matter what school or parent company it was from & whether or not there have been government actions, accreditation actions & lawsuits filed?

    • Hi JM,

      Wish I could give you a better answer, but none of this stuff it actually available yet. People’s experiences are varying wildly on all the conditions you asked about.

  7. Hi,

    The type of loans I took out was Federal Perkins, Direct Stafford Sub/Unsub, FFEL Stafford Sub/Unsub. After graduating I had Consolidated to a Direct Consolidated Sub/Unsub loan so I would only make 1 payment a month. Do you know if Consolidating the loans effected my chance of applying Borrowers Defense? I read some info on line and am little confused on my chances.

    • Hi Peter,

      I don’t think consolidation would hurt your ability to get a Borrowers Defense Against Repayment approval. You may not be eligible for other forms of forgiveness, but I am almost certain that you can still apply for this one, and still get your loans discharged. To be sure, contact the Student Loan Ombudsman Group. They’ll be able to give you a straight answer.

  8. Hello Tim,
    I graduated from devry and would never have gone their and gotten into that much debt withour their promises, I want to apply for the debt relief, I have no idea how much the settlement is paying out, my question is, there is an aplication on the student loan page at Navient you answer the questions and apply, do you reccomend a lawyer for this? or do people do it themselves? I saw on your site the 888 number but honestly I am a litle leary of that, I know they want a fee and everyone says you should not pay fees, so its confusing. any advice?

    • Hi Erin,

      Yes, so the deal with paying for assistance is that if you can figure everything out for yourself, and you have time and the ability to fill out all the paperwork 100% perfectly the first time, then you shouldn’t pay anyone a fee to help you deal with your student loan debt.

      These companies can’t do anything for you that you couldn’t do for yourself, that is 100% true, and I say that over and over throughout my page content, because I don’t want anyone wasting money on services they don’t need.

      However, for people who cannot figure out what they need to do, or for people who have VERY complicated financial situations, or tons of questions about what programs they qualify for, etc., I definitely recommend hiring an outside expert to assist with the process.

      What these companies do is save you a ton of time by making sure that all the paperwork is filled out CORRECTLY, which also increases the chances that you actually receive the benefits you are supposed to qualify for.

      Many experts say it’s a scam, it’s not worth the money, etc., but these experts have been tracking the industry for years, and they know everything about the processes involved in dealing with student loan debt.

      These same experts would probably hire an attorney to deal with divorce proceedings, bankruptcies, and other complicated financial/legal matters, but they want to tell YOU that you shouldn’t do the same thing with student loans (something you obviously don’t know enough about to handle on your own, right?).

      It sounds like you’ve already spent some considerable time researching the process of applying for a Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment discharge, and it sounds like you can’t figure out how to deal with it all on your own. If that’s true – why keep wasting time on it? I definitely recommend calling the Student Loan Relief Helpline, and paying them a small amount of money for their assistance in handling your loans. It may cost you a couple hundred dollars, but if it saves you tens of thousands in debt, isn’t that a good deal?

      I hate this idea that you shouldn’t pay anyone for assistance, because it comes from an elitist attitude that everyone can figure everything out entirely on their own, which is simply not true, and especially when it comes to student loans and student loan debt. Most people don’t have hours and hours of free time to spend researching legal matters, looking up court cases, writing up legal documents, etc., to deal with their loans… they just want to apply for forgiveness benefits and move on with their lives!

      That’s what a service like the Student Loan Relief Helpline can do for you – save you hours of research, and tons of frustration. They’ll literally handle the entire process for you, filling out all the paperwork, doing any sort of negotiations required with your lender or servicer, and making sure that you get the maximum value of any potential student loan benefits packages that you qualify for.

      I definitely recommend that you call the Student Loan Relief Helpline and ask them for assistance. They will make sure you do everything perfectly, and they’ll significantly increase the chances that you get your loans dealt with. If that’s not worth spending a couple hundred dollars, then I don’t know what would be.

      • Thank you I appreciate your reply, and honestly I don’t think I could figure everything out. It seems like I have a good chance since in fact derby did mislead me and they were in a settle this for this. Thank you again for your time I am going to be o look into help for this, I agree as well it will be worth it,
        Thank you again !

  9. Roni Pierce says:

    Hello, I was also part of the DeVry lawsuit and although the FTC has confirmed that I am eligible, I did not receive any private loans directly from DeVry, I only have Federal Student Loans. I am interested in applying for the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment but I am wondering since DeVry has already been proven to be misleading, do I really need to provide any further proof when I apply for this?

    • Hi Roni,

      Yes – you still need to provide proof that you were PERSONALLY misled by their false advertisements and illegal activities. You can’t just assume that your request will be approved because of what’s happened with other people. Make sure you include specific examples of laws they broke that convinced you into enrolling, or your request for a Defense Against Repayment Discharge will be denied.

  10. I was enrolled and completed my BA program through DeVry in the time frame that is listed in the lawsuit. I had one loan directly through DeVry (paid off), but haven’t heard anything on that so far. I have about $75,000 in fed student loans and doing lots of research on the borrowers defense of repayment program. I have emails stating the high percentage of placement, and would have to dig into my emails to see what else I have. They told me a lot of things during the multiple phone calls, but I can’t remember word-for-word. Would this, if it’s the only thing I can find that physically states their absurd placement rates, be enough? I know you’re not a lawyer, and I’m looking for one in my area, but just from your knowledge on the subject? Thank you.

    • Hi Cj,

      Borrowers Defense Against Repayment is a great option for your DeVry Federal Loans. You’ll have a really good chance of getting the loans discharged if you can prove that they lied to you about placement rates. I don’t think you’ll need a lawyer to make this happen. You just need to fill out the Defense Against Repayment Application and make sure that you provide as much detail as possible about how they violated the law by making false promises to you. It sounds like you’re smart enough to explain that clearly, so don’t spend money on an attorney.

  11. Gloria Yuen says:

    Hi Tim,
    With he whole DeVry lawsuit between the FTC, only students who had loans dispersed by DeVry was forgiven. Those who had federal loans and other private loans didn’t have their loans forgiven who those who first enrolled in Jan 2008 to Sept 2015. Am I able to use the Borrower Defense to Repayment to get my federal loans forgiven due to DeVry’s lawsuit for misleading ads used on perspective students?

    • Hi Gloria,

      Yes – you can use the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment process to challenge the validity of any loans. I would definitely go after this if I were you.

  12. Lisa Keller says:

    I would like some information about your services and costs of those services. I have a great deal of debt for a Psy.D. clinical psychology degree that I believe was completed under false pretenses made by the program and the university (Capella University, Minneapolis, MN). I am consistently running into road blocks that I should not be if I would have attended a different university.

    • Hi Lisa,

      I would recommend that you call the Student Loan Relief Helpline, either the Federal version if your debt is Federally-funded, or the Private version if your loans are Private. You can reach the Helplines here:

      Federal Student Loan Relief Helpline: 1-888-906-3065
      Private Student Loan Relief Helpline: 1-866-530-9946

  13. Diamond Sears says:

    In 2011 I enrolled to apply at South University online. I was working full time then and was told that I would complete my program in 18 months and that that made the cost minimal(first lie). I was also told that I would be eligible for a Hospital administrator job upon graduation. They were very shady with my loans and I often had to complain. I began only communicating with them via email so that I would have proof of what they were saying to me. I don’t have any proof of the other lies that they told regarding earning potential or anything like that. I never graduated from South University after 2.5 years of classes and $45,000 in loans. I am 99% sure that they ripped me off and committed many fraudulent acts. Is it possible that I could qualify for borrowers defense discharge?

    • Hi Diamond,

      You may have a chance of getting an approval, but I think you’ll need to get help explaining exactly what they promised better. The way you stated it here, I do not think would receive approval. There needs to be some very clear statements about what they promised, yet failed to deliver on.

      It can’t have anything to do with your own responsibilities either, for example, maybe you didn’t graduate after 2.5 years of classes, because you didn’t take enough classes (per their schedule) or failed some of them? There’s too many open-ended questions in your explanation as you wrote it.

      Since you owe so much money ($45,000 is no joke), I think you will want to pay an outside agency to write the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment letter for you. That will dramatically increase the odds of getting your petition approved. It sounds like you’ve got Private loans, so I suggest calling the Private Student Loan Relief Helpline. You can reach them at: 1-866-530-9946

  14. Wendell Escolano says:

    THANK YOU for you your time and diligence Tim

    I called the FTC (5-3-17) to make sure my address was correct and they confirmed I would be compensated.

    My loan are through Great Lakes and Wells Fargo.

    So my question, after reading through all the comments.

    It was stated in the comments that “private loans” aren’t apart of the settlement.

    Aren’t these providers listed above private?

    • Hi Wendell,

      Comments on private loans could have been referring to something else. Comments are all over the place on this page, asking about DeVry, ITT Tech, Navient, Corinthian, etc., as well as many of the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Programs, so you might have read a comment talking about a different topic entirely.

  15. Thanks for the site and the candid answers. I received a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree, MA, from Argosy University in 2009. Just noting that EDMC managed Argosy and they have had many issues. I began the program in 2007. Deciding to attend this school was the worst decision I could have made. I was told there would be job-placement and I should make 70-80 thousand dollars once graduating. At the time, I was living in Michigan and moving to Florida. Once graduating, with a 3.9 gpa, which I don’t think I truly deserved, but they seem to let anyone in, so I may have stood out since I could spell my own name, I left with no job and approximately $80,000 in debt. As a 37-year-old, I now know i totally got taken. My question is, how do I legitimately fight this? Do I go to an attorney? Am I capable of creating my own defense? Is a verbal promise enough to go on? Common sense says that the school will simply say that they never said it. Frustrated with so much about picking Argosy/EDMC, but feeling like my experience says it will be hard to prove and I just have to chalk it up. Any advice would be appreciated.


    • Hi Greg,

      You don’t need to contact an Attorney, but it would definitely help in making your Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Letter more likely to getting approved. If you were promised job placement and salary, then you’re eligible, and you don’t necessarily need the statements in writing in order to get the benefit.

      I would probably considering hiring outside help since you don’t feel super confidant in the process, and instead of going to a lawyer, look to one of the paid services that help people with these sorts of things. My favorite group is the Student Loan Relief Helpline, who you can reach by calling 1-888-906-3065.

      They’ll charge you for the service of helping put together your letter and submitting all the paperwork, but if it gets you out of $80,000 in debt, and only costs a couple hundred bucks… that feels like a win-win to me. The phone call is free too, so you’re not risking anything by talking to them for a couple minutes.

  16. Karen Codling says:

    I’m curious about something. I attended Commonwealth College of Virginia and received an Associates Degree in Accounting. Subsequently the school closed (which I didn’t even know about). I wanted to continue my education (it took another 10 years) and I found Bryant & Stratton (who told me that their company had bought Commonwealth College of Virginia) and would allow me to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (which I did). But the only jobs their job placement department would give me were reception type jobs (entry level). So I went back to temping and lost my job just a couple of months before the economy crashed. So I decided to go back to school (University of Phoenix) who told me that I could definitely get a job making $60,000 a year if I had a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. What a joke! No employer will even consider me for a job with that degree, so I am leaving it off my resume. I really am wondering if any of the loans that I took out to get so many worthless pieces of paper (in my opinion) can be forgiven.

    • Hi Karen,

      If University of Phoenix actually said that you would get a job making $60,000 a year, then you may be able to go after them for that claim. Are your loans private or Federal? I’d call the Student Loan Relief Helpline and ask them for assistance. You’ll have to pay them to handle the case for you, but it’ll dramatically increase the odds that your Borrowers Defense Against Repayment letter is approved, and your loans end up forgiven. I’m sure you’ve got a lot of debt because Phoenix isn’t cheap, so I wouldn’t mess around with this and try to DIY it.

      You can reach the Helplines here:

      Federal Student Loan Relief Helpline: 1-888-906-3065
      Private Student Loan Relief Helpline: 1-866-530-9946

  17. Can parent plus loans be dismissed on a borrowers defense to repayment?

    • Hi Julie,

      Good question – and I think the answer is YES, because the official website mentions that the instructions for Borrowers Defense Against Repayment DO include specific information related to parent PLUS borrowers. I think you’re good!

  18. Melissa Wallace says:

    Hi I graduated with a Bachelors Degree from an online college University of Phoenix back in 2011. I’ve been struggling to pay off 70,000 in debt. I have no career in this field because no one will hire me due to not having any previous experience or internship which is not offered with online programs. Do I have a chance at receiving the borrows defense against repayment?

    • Hi Melissa,

      To qualify for a Borrowers Defense Against Repayment discharge you need to prove that the school violated some State or Federal law. You’ll have to say that they promised you job placement, promised you some set salary amount, or did something else that’s illegal. You can’t just say “I can’t find a job”.

      If I were you, I’d call the Private Student Loan Relief Helpline and ask them for assistance. You can call them and talk to them for free, and won’t have to pay anything until they actually start working on your behalf, but since you owe $70,000, I think it’ll be worth spending a few hundred dollars on the consultation and assistance.

      You can reach the Private Student Loan Relief Helpline by calling 1-866-530-9946

      • How do I know the DOE received my Borrower’s to Defense application? I don’t see any number to call and I did this online. I even included supporting documents such as the ads DeVry used to lure me in.

  19. Jacquelyn Mellott says:

    Does anybody know how long the borrowers defense process takes?

  20. James Mason says:

    Hey kind sir,
    I attended ITT-Tech 2010-2014 and graduated with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering. Since the government shut them down my degree had become basically worthless. I have had several perspective employers actually say that they will not hire ITT grads because of this closure. Also my counselor told me that this degree wad the same as any other engineering degree which is a lie they are not ABEET accredited. I don’t have any proof of this but I really need these loans forgiven as this degree is less than a high school diploma at this point.

    • Hi James,

      Find a way to write a Defense Against Repayment Provision letter that clearly explains how ITT Tech lied, broke some relevant state law, etc., and you may be able to get the loans expunged.

  21. I filled one of these out at work on a break. If I get denied will I face any legal trouble?

  22. Do you believe that the recent federal injunction filed against DeVry University could assist individuals with the Defense Against Repayment opportunity? Could the fact that the case was settled negatively impact approvals?

    • Hi Cass,

      Yes, absolutely. Each time the Government takes down a School for these sorts of violations, it makes it easier to get Borrowers Defense Against Repayment letters approved. Everyone is slowly starting to realize that there was a ton of fraud and illegal activity in higher ed, and there’s never been a better time to go after forgiveness benefits. The settling doesn’t hurt – if anything, it helps.

  23. Rene Marston says:

    Hi, Tim. Very grateful for this info. I attended DeVry University from 2013-2015 and transferred to SNHU (non-profit online university) in 2015 and just graduated with a business degree in January. I was totally deceived by DeVry in the submission process and would like to see if I can have at least part of my debt forgiven. SNHU was great and they really worked with me to transfer all my classes over so I didn’t lose any credits, but now I’m stuck with a general business studies degree in which I’m struggling to find anything other than sale which is not at all what I’m suited for. Also, the salaries are lower than my last secretarial job. I was initially going for a CIS degree in Database Management, and was totally honest with DeVry about not having any IT experience whatsoever. I was a secretary for 30 years and loved working with computers and had this crazy idea I could be in IT. They assured me that with the CIS degree I could automatically get an entry-level job and expect to make in the $50K range due to the high demand for technology workers. They promised that I would get hands-on training once I got into the technical classes, and that I would also get help being placed into my first job. They showed me a glossy print-out with a list of companies in the area saying I would be doing an internship-type class in my senior year with one of those companies, and that many students got hired straight from that experience. The reality was that once I got into my first programming class in junior year, their technical professors were highly incompetent, and there was no actual hands-on training. I was very vocal with my concerns, even meeting with the CIS dean in person. He then told me that many CIS seniors had to RETAKE most of their classes in order to graduate. Not acceptable, given the hard work I was putting in. He suggested I talk with the Networking dean, saying I was probably a better fit for that. It sounded plausible so I went to the trouble of changing my degree plan, even losing credits for several classes. Then the same exact thing happened once I started taking networking classes. No actual training and inferior professors. I met with yet another dean and expressed my frustration saying I didn’t know what to do at that point. She then revealed that there was no internship and that they didn’t do job placement at all. At that point, I decided to transfer and talked to a counselor at University of Texas at Dallas, but they didn’t have a comparable degree plan. They suggested SNHU online and that was the best solution. I’ve read all the info above and think I have a possible case–what do you think? I would like to hire a lawyer since I want the best shot possible. I have a total debt of around $56K and my payments are due to start in June. My debt is being serviced through Navient. Thanks so much.

    • Hi Rene,

      Sorry to hear about your situation – it definitely sounds like you have a possible case here, and that you could get your loans discharged under the Defense Against Repayment provision.

      If they said you would DEFINITELY be able to get a job in the $50,000 range, then you will for sure be able to get this debt discharged. Just make sure you do a good job with your Defense Against Repayment letter, because that’s the single piece of evidence that has to convince whoever reviews it to approve your request.

      I would advise hiring an attorney to help, or paying a small amount to one of the student loan debt settlement agencies, as they’re super familiar with this process. My favorite advising company is called the Student Loan Relief Helpline, and this is their number 1 strategy for getting loans discharged.

      You can reach them by calling 1-888-906-3065 for Federal Loans, and 1-866-530-9946 for Private Loans.

      Good luck! And let me know when you get your response from the Department of Education! It’s nice to be able to share SUCCESS stories on this site.

  24. Hi, I was recruited to The Art Institute of Ca Orange County in Fall 2002. I was promised a great job with good pay. Career Center would sent me a list with open positions for 6 months after graduation to help me get a job. They also told me they would prepare me for interviews and put together a resume. I attended there from Jan 2003 – March 2006 and on my last quarter I lost all of my work from on my hard drive from 3 years. I was devastated but I was given the opportunity to re-take my “Portfolio” class over again for free or quit but I’d had to put something together to showcase all my work from 3 years in one quarter. I couldn’t do it in just one quarter. I was very disappointed and did the best I could because I wanted to get my B.S. for being there all those years. My instructor did not agree with the quality of work I gave him and I did not graduate. In fact at that point I was told I could finish my education online (repeat last quarter) and get my degree. However, they failed to tell me that the online for Art Institute was through Pennsylvania state and the requirements were completely different. Not all of my classes transferred over and it took me an extra 2 years to finish my degree. I was going to give up but my family pushed me to finished since I had already spent so much money and time. Those extra 2 years were an extra 30k+ in student loans. After transferring to The Art Institute Online I started receiving emails from the careers center in Orange County for only a couple of months. I let the representative know that all the jobs were really far from were I lived and I needed closer jobs to my area. She then told me she had no jobs around my area and that she only sent me what she had. Those jobs were about 2+ hours from were I lived. I never received an email from the school after that to see if I had found a job in my field. Instead I started looking on my own to school districts around my area while finishing up my degree online. At the end I was left with no job in my field and government loans to 100k+. I have been paying my student loans since then. I had to file for bankruptcy and lost my first house because I couldn’t pay for my loans with no job. Just 4 years ago I was told I could get a teaching credential in my field with a B.S. HELLO! Why wasn’t I told that from the school then? I was really mad because for 5 years I had been working part time subbing in education doing something completely different. I enrolled in CSUSB to obtain my credential and just now finishing up this quarter. I was able to find a teaching job as an ROP High School Instructor in Graphic Design and had been working for 2 years teaching what I learned in school and paid so much money for! I still have so much student debt and would like to know if I can get rid of it. Thank you!

    • Hi Sherry,

      To qualify for a discharge under the Defense Against Repayment Program, you have to prove that the school or your loan servicer broke a Federal or state law. I’m not sure if your story is enough to satisfy that requirement, because it’s not really their fault that you lost all the work on the failed hard drive. (Did you know you can use a hard drive recovery service to get stuff back? I had to do it once to recover years of photos, and it wasn’t cheap, but it IS possible…).

      Anyway, you’re going to have to come up with a very clear promise that they made and broke, or a very clear law that they violated, and that is what will need to go into your Defense Against Repayment letter. I’m not trying to be mean, but your story doesn’t sound very compelling as you’ve told it, and I do not think that a Judge or a Court would approve your request for a discharge, since it sounds like all your issues were the result of your own mistakes or bad choices.

      You may need to speak to an attorney, or at least consult with one of the debt settlement agencies, in order to help put together a proper story that’s clear, and that demonstrates how you were cheated, swindled or defrauded. I would call the Student Loan Relief Helpline and see if they can help you come up with anything that really does satisfy the conditions of the program. I’m not saying to lie, or to even stretch the truth, but I am saying that you need to do a better job of explaining exactly why you deserve a discharge.

      Call the Student Loan Relief Helpline at 1-888-906-3065. You will be able to talk to them for free, but to get them to actually work the case for you, and give you everything you need to send in your letter, you’ll have to spend some money. In your case, I think it’s worth it since you owe so much.

  25. Hello, My husband graduated from ITT tech in 2012. He originally met with them to do the Criminal justice program. After meeting with advisers they convinced him that Computer networking program was the route to take. This would earn him way more money per year after graduation. They convinced him to change his career. Would this qualify for Borrower Defense Relief? Not sure what documentation we have to prove this.

    • Hi Nikki,

      They would have had to promise him something, like a set salary after graduation, guaranteed job placement, etc. They’ve got to violate a state or Federal law to qualify for Borrowers Defense Against Repayment, so you need to be VERY careful, and EXTREMELY SPECIFIC, about what you’re accusing them of having done.

      If you want to improve the chances that your letter is approved, you need to seek legal assistance from an attorney, or from one of the specialty debt resolution services that does this day in and day out. If you choose to pay someone for help, my recommendation is to use the Federal Student Loan Relief Helpline, which will charge you a consultation fee, but help you with the Defense Against Repayment Letter, and basically take care of the entire process for you. You can reach them by calling 1-888-906-3065.

  26. i have two student loans , both are direct student loans , both are from for profit schools that are under the radar of the DOE for violating the gainful employment act . both are with Navient , they are both consolidated. i am on a whats called a graduated payment plan? the payments go up every two years until the loan is payed off. the amount is right under 17k , i almost have enough saved up where i can pay the whole thing off and be rid of this living nightmare. my question is if i pay it off can i still do a defense to repayment in the future or have i lost the money? I am just tired and what two be rid of this and get on with my life. i don’t really care about the money if i lost it i lost it , but i would be free .

    • Hi John,

      If you pay it off, you MAY still be able to do a Defense Against Repayment and try to recoup the money you had already paid out, but it’s harder to get it back.

      I would file the Defense Against Repayment letter AHEAD OF TIME, and try to get the loan discharged so that you don’t need to pay it off at all. Don’t do this backwards.

  27. Xioma Diaz says:

    Thank you for all the great information that you have provided in your has given me some hope. I’m not sure if my husband’s situation would apply but I wanted to share it with you to see if you have any other suggestions or recommendations for him. My husband attended University of Colorado Health Sciences Center School of Medicine (UCHSC) from 1992 to 1996. Graduated with an MD degree. He started his residency as a preliminary resident in 1996 for 3 years at UCHSC Department of surgery. You need a 5 year residency to be able to practice medicine and be capable of earning $225-250,000 a year. After three years he was let go and told he was not a good fit for that particular residency. No assistance or information was given to him to help him find another residency. With no other options he left that residency and had to start work in a completely different non medical career path. At that time he had collected a debt of $200-$250,000. This debt has impacted our lives in a extremely negative way and we do not see any light at the end of this tunnel. We will be paying this debt the rest of our lives with no end in sight. I was hoping you could give us some advice or direct us to someone that could help us in any way possible.

    • Oh my gosh… this is the horror story that everyone always fears will happen to them. I’m sorry to hear about this situation Xioma, as it’s a terrible thing to be put into a quarter million dollars of debt, and have basically no way to deal with it.

      It’s POSSIBLE that your husband will qualify for a Defense Against Repayment Discharge, but it’s going to require some work to figure out why he was let go from the residency, whether or not that was valid, whether or not the school was legally obligated to help him find another one, etc. There’s lots of “ifs” here, and it’s not a clean, cut and dry sort of deal, so I can’t tell you for sure whether or not you have a good chance of getting approval.

      You need to contact either an attorney who can help you investigate your Defense Against Repayment Options, or one of the debt settlement agencies who can pursue the same thing for you.

      My recommendation would be to start with the Student Loan Relief Helpline, which is a service that’ll take down all your details, investigate your options, and guide you through the process.

      You can reach the Student Loan Relief Helpline at 1-888-906-3065.

  28. Do you know if the investigation on Navient is related to ITT Tech? Is it just a coincidence that my ITT Tech loans are through Navient and they are both in legal trouble? PLEASE shine some light on this topic.

    • Hah, good question here. The Navient Student Loan Forgiveness Program applies to ALL loans serviced by Navient, and has nothing to do with ITT Tech. You’ve hit the jackpot though, by being involved with both ends of a totally screwed up system, and your chances of getting approval for a student loan discharge are going to be much higher than the average bear’s.

      If you are familiar with the process and can take care of it on your own, then get that Defense Against Repayment Letter ready and send it off to the Department of Education, then prepare to sit tight for a few months while you await their response.

      If you don’t want to risk getting turned down, or if you aren’t the best at preparing legal documentation, then contact the Private Student Loan Relief Helpline and pay them to take care of it all for you.

      It doesn’t cost that much (and is extremely cheap compared to the huge debt loans that some people are facing), plus it dramatically increases the chances that you’ll actually get approval for your discharge, since this is what they do all day.

      You can reach the Private Helpline by calling 1-866-530-9946.

  29. I submitted a defense to repayment form sometime last year and I’m wondering how I can find out about the status of it? I haven’t heard from anyone after submitting it.

    • Hi Carlos,

      The Department of Education is flooded with these requests. There’s really nothing you can do to expedite the process. Keep making your payments and hang tight.

      It’s a crappy situation, but millions of other Americans are in the same boat as you are.

      I think the only possible way to get any faster resolution of the process would be to hire an attorney, or to pay a debt resolution agency to start pestering DOE on your behalf (and threatening legal action for them failing to respond in appropriate time).

      If you want to go that route (be warned that it will cost money…), then contact the Student Loan Relief Helpline, and they can get on it for you. You can reach them here: 1-888-906-3065.

  30. Is Riley the only case that has been approved? We have a large federal parent plus loan. Our son’s school (since closed) told us that within one year of graduation, we would be able to refinance the loan into his name. We were gullible and believed him. A year after graduation, we called the loan program to do that and they laughed. Unless he has enough assets to collateralize that size loan, they will not transfer it to him. We are saddled with a $1,000/mo payment 8%. We’ve paid over $50k in five years and the value of the loan has not gone down. Do we have any hope?

    • Hi Carrie,

      Do you have the promise of refinancing the loan in writing? If you do… you’ve got a really strong case for a Defense Against Repayment Discharge. Since this is a Federally-funded loan, that makes it even easier to pursue.

      I think you need to go after the Discharge option, but you’re probably going to want to pay for assistance in preparing your letter, either by hiring a student loans attorney (and one familiar with, and who’s successfully handled Defense Against Repayment Discharges before), or by calling someone like the Student Loan Relief Helpline (who uses this as their primary tactic for achieving forgiveness).

      You can reach the Student Loan Relief Helpline by calling 1-888-906-3065. They will be able to tell you whether or not you’ve got a good chance at getting the debt discharged.

      If the school told you that you’d be able to refinance the loan, that’s a false promise, which is illegal. It’s basically false advertising, and this is EXACTLY why the Defense Against Repayment program was set up, so hold out some hope!

  31. Tim,

    Great work on this comprehensive post. This is the most succinct summary of the situation, in addition to conservative and downright good advice for someone who’s dealt with the corrupt Corinthian company.

    Today I received another email from the DoE. Almost a year ago I applied for Borrower Defense to Repayment, and have been in back and forth contact with the dept. ever since. I attended WyoTech Laramie during 2014, in programs specifically named by the DoE as guilty of at least one aspect of their many-pronged lawsuit.

    “The Department of Education has approved your claim for forgiveness of your federal student loans under the borrower defense to repayment rule, 34 C.F.R. §685.206(c). ”

    This is, of course, great news. I know I am lucky, but I am conservative in my excitement. You see, the majority (90%) of my loans, while federal, are already paid off. I know that under 34 C.F.R. §685.206(c) ” The Secretary affords the borrower such further relief as the Secretary determines is appropriate under the circumstances. Further relief may include, but is not limited to, the following: (i) Reimbursing the borrower for amounts paid toward the loan voluntarily or through enforced collection. . . . ”

    My claim letter was extremely professional, and reads as if written by at least a paralegal. I read through the court documents and while of course I did not lie, I did made every claim that applied to me even remotely. I noted each in my letter. The whole thing was very well put together and comprehensive.

    So now, is my best bet to sit back and hope the Secretary is in a good mood? I find it hard to find meaningful data points regarding what amount is being forgiven to those in my situation. Even harder to find out what amount, if any, is typically being not only forgiven but repaid – as the reimbursement of previous payments is what really counts to me.

    Any advice, or experience you can share to shed some light on reimbursement for me? Again, thanks for the great article,


    • Hi Riley,

      Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you, but THANK YOU for your kind words and CONGRATULATIONS on the Defense Against Repayment approval! Quick question: did you work up the letter yourself, or did you hire an attorney or some other expert to help out?

      I’ve heard a lot of people getting denied when they do it on their own, so I’m starting to recommend more and more that people pay a bit to help with their letter prep, but it sounds like you’re a smart person who can think for yourself and sort out complicated processes, so I’m guessing you nailed it just fine without help.

      I think you did the right thing by making every claim possible and noting them all in a professional fashion. That’s the way to get approval from this program considering it’s all being reviewed by a person, and isn’t really a mathematical formula to get the benefit, but basically requires convincing whoever reads your story to believe you and feel some empathy for you. Amazing work!

      Yes – your only option now is to hang tight and see what they offer you. It’s a bummer that you had already paid back so much of your loan, because there’s a lower chance to see that money again than there would be of having outstanding debt discharged, but I wouldn’t give up, and I think you’ll have a great shot at getting the full approval since you did such a good job on your Defense Against Repayment letter.

      Thanks for sharing your story, because it’s always nice to hear GOOD NEWS, and especially when someone has worked their butt off researching and writing a proper letter, then getting to enjoy the fruits of their labor. I think you’re in a good position and wish you the best of luck in getting everything refunded. Please do let me know how it goes when you get the final word.

  32. Barbara A Zickau says:

    I attended Colorado Technical University Online and received a MBA in Health Care Administration. When I started asking questions about the program, My main one was Do I have to be an RN to take this program as I do not hold this degree. The school told me that an RN degree was not required to take the program. I enrolled in the course. As the course got closer to completion is when the school started stating that there would be fees to take the National and State qualifying boards for this program. A person could pay them while still in classes or after graduation but these costs were all out of pocket. Not a big issue. My big issue with this school and their handling to get me enrolled because that after graduation all jobs that I applied for refused to consider me because I did not have the RN backing for this area. While you may hear people say, “I know people that are not RN’s that work in that type of Position”, I heard exactly the opposite. The school stated that this field had the earning potential of $50-85,000 a year depending upon location in the United States. I have yet to make over $12,000.00 a year as being self-employed and working part-time temporary since leaving this program. Signing up for this program, instead of a different one that I was considering caused me to have to drop out of my PhD program due to lack of Funding. I feel that I would qualify under these guidelines. What is your opinion before I talk to an attorney?

    • Hi Barbara,

      I think you have a good case for attempting the Defense Against Repayment option since the school basically told you a lie about your employment prospects. I would recommend consulting with an attorney before pursuing this though, because that’s the best way to ensure that your argument is structured properly, and that you’ll be able to accuse the school of doing something actually illegal (something that violates state or Federal law), which is what’s required to earn the debt discharge. Spend a little bit of money on the attorney’s costs, and it could end up saving you a ton of funds down the line. Good luck!

  33. I have a sister who is intellectually disabled. Approximately 8 to 10 years ago, she applied for some student loans at a two year collect, not knowing what she was doing nor understanding the paperwork she signed. She ended up not understanding the material taught in the class because it was way over her head so she dropped out. She didn’t understand that the money to pay for college was a loan…not free money. Further, her highest level of education is a high school diploma, which she got by taking special education classes. She has a reading level comprehension of a 6/7th grader and the math comprehension of a 3/4th grader. I was very upset when I found out she was talked into signing paperwork she had no way of understanding, which committed her to a loan program…especially since she would have qualified for a Pell Grant easily as she lives way below the poverty level. She has recently moved in with me (I provide 100% of her care/living expenses) since she is not able to live on her own. She has been receiving calls concerning her loan repayments. This was the first I learned of her loan debt. They wanted to set her up on a repayment plan or to pay an up-front cost of $22k. That may not be a lot of money for student loans but for her it is an insurmountable sum since she’s not qualified to work at most places. I believe the school that signed her up for loans should be held accountable for the loans as she never should have signed the paperwork. In fact, I think the loan officer at the campus may have been the one to fill out the application on her behalf and just had her sign. There is no way she would have understood the paperwork enough to have been able to fill it out by herself.
    Bottom line, do you think she may qualify for the Defense Against Repayment Program?

  34. Hi I graduated in 2009 from ITT and was given the same run around as everyone else. They told me they were fully accredited, led me to believe that I would be making x amount of dollars with a degree, and told me that they had instructors that knew what they were talking about. I found that all of that was untrue after the first year. I tried transferring out and found that I was unable to transfer my credits. I talked to the school counselor and she said that they were working on accreditation and hoped that all that would change. I argued that they told me they were fully accredited and she said they are accredited. I just walked away from that conversation. I fished out the degree and landed a job making $15 an hour. I turned out alright years later but was still lied to and rushed into signing us for the school.

    I submitted the defense to repayment right after ITT closed it doors because I had no idea this process existed. I haven’t heard anything back yet but my question is how am I supposed to prove that I was defrauded? Should I try and resubmit the defense to repayment and try to provide more details on who all told me this? I didn’t take down names because I wasn’t expecting to get screwed out of my education.

    • Hi Niko,

      It’s all about your Defense Against Repayment letter. I’m not sure that you can resubmit. I think it’s a one and done type deal, but if you really need the forgiveness, I’d consult with an attorney and get real legal guidance.

  35. Hi Tim,
    I attended University of Phoenix between 2001-2005 & graduated with what I thought was an MBA. They promised me I could find a great management job and earn at least $66,000 annually. Since then I have literally had employers laughing in my face at the degree, no one will hire me, believe me I tried for almost 10 years only to end up working in a retail pharmacy for $12/hr!! I now have $125,000 in student loans which I will never be able to repay all because university of Phoenix lied to me about job prospects and salary. Do you recommend I apply ?

    • Hi Carie,

      I would definitely apply if they promised you a set dollar amount for salary. That is highly unethical and exactly what this program is meant to protect against. You should consult with an attorney, especially since your debt is so high, to ensure that you follow the guidelines properly. Do not screw up your application because it’s a one time only thing.

    • Carie,

      UoP doesn’t even have a program that wold cost anywhere near 125k. Are your numbers right? Anyway, good luck with the borrowers defense..

  36. I attended ITT Technical institute about 5yrs ago which at the time they offered a BA in criminal justice. Half way through the program not getting my AS yet they terminated the BA program. So I decided to drop out since I originally had signed up at ITT Tech for the BA program. The question is do I have a case?. I am currently still paying for my Federal loan.

  37. I attended and graduated from the Art Institute after I graduated it was found that the CEOS were pocketing the money and gouging the students for more money. But where would I find definitive information on what exactly happened that I could send to fed loan?

  38. Hi Tim,

    I’m a California resident and attended Ashford online from Jan 2008 to June 2011 and received a degree, along with a lot of student loan debt. My question is, what type of evidence would one submit to show proof of aggressive sales tactics? Is it simply my word of what occurred during the conversation? Is it news articles? That’s the part that I’m a little unclear on. I have pre-paid legal, so I will be consulting with an attorney that way, but before I waste my time and money, I’d like to know what evidence would I need to provide with my complaint. Any suggestions or insights? Thanks so much for the great information and assistance you offer, it is much appreciated.

    • Hi Kim,

      You’ll need to see what you can come up with… the best way to deal with this would be to have the attorney guide your process. I don’t want to steer you the wrong direction, and I think that any time you spend prepping could go to waste if the attorney says they don’t like what you’ve done. Let them be in charge of how you assemble the information and present your case. That’s what you’re paying them to do!

      Good luck!

  39. I attended The Salter School here in MA. Of course I was lied to about cost, job placement rates etc. I am not employed in the field of study simply because there is no way to get a job with the education they provide, not to mention I was not even certified when I left the school. That would have required me to pay for the exam for medical billing and coding and after taking the sample test came to the conclusion there is no way I could pass it with the education they provided. The state of MA sued them and received 3.75 million to settle loan debts. I received a letter from the state of MA asking for information. I have never heard a word back from them. So, I found a borrowers defense form to fill out and print online. I sent it to the Dept. of Education along with copies of the lawsuit and settlement. So, my question is being that it’s already been proven that they broke the law shouldn’t I be able to qualify for the borrowers defense? It seems like it takes forever to hear back from anyone.

    • Hi Lorie,

      It does take forever to hear back on Borrowers Defense Against Repayment requests, but it’s worth it. Don’t give up. Contact whoever services your loans, and contact the Department of Education. Ask them about the status of your application.

  40. Hi Tim,
    I graduated from ITT Technical Institute September 06, 2015. Now a year later The Board of Education is shutting all ITT Technical Institutes down. I have done some research and I am a little lost on where to go from here and was looking for some advice. I don’t feel like I have much but I know that I was pushed through my education, wrongfully done, and mistreated.

    From the start I wasn’t very happy with the education I was receiving. The classrooms were filled with broken down towers and operating systems that were used for labs; yet we never had any hands on labs like the school prides itself on. We maybe looked at them once or twice never anything in depth like I was told. Our labs consisted of “download this VMplayer, do these labs, and complete these questions.”
    The main thing that’s sticks out to me is the only hands on I had while attending ITT-Tech was a lab when we worked with cat5 cable. This lab was interesting and intriguing; however the instructor caught me off guard when he wanted us to do a written lab on fiber optic cable when our hands on lab was on cat5 cable. “I approached my instructor and asked him how I am supposed to do this lab without the knowledge of the hands on lab with the fiber optic cable?” his response was to simply “Google it” I informed him that this does not make sense because we did a lab on cat5 cable, and now we have to write a paper on fiber optic cable of the how to’s and the do’s and dont’s? His reply was simply yes. I explained that I felt then the fiber optic cable should have been the lab not the cat5 cable. He replied with “I understand your frustration but we do not have fiber optic cable”

    This is one of the many examples that I have, and I am just wondering where to go from here? or if this would even fall under the state law? I feel on multiple levels I have been wrongfully done and lied to. Now the school is closing and I feel as if my degree isn’t worth the value I put into it.

    • Hi Brittney,

      The bad news for you is that you already graduated from ITT Tech, which makes you ineligible for the Closed School Discharge Program, or what people are calling the ITT Tech Forgiveness Program.

      Your examples sound like you MIGHT have a shot at filing a Defense Against Repayment petition and getting approved for forgiveness, but I would see if you can come up with something better, some clear violation of your state’s, or Federal law.

      Typically, people who’ve been lied to (promised salary levels, job titles, etc.) have the best cases for receiving forgiveness via Defense Against Repayment, which requires proof that the school literally broke the law in some way (often it’s by committing fraud of some sort).

      You’re going to need to do some research about applicable state laws to see if you can find a true violation.

      • I am somewhat in the same situation. I graduated from ITT Technical Institute in Knoxville, TN and the quarter before graduation I was informed by the head of my department, the financial aid adviser and the dean of admissions during one of my “interview rehearsal” classes that I will be able to graduate and immediately find a job make $50k a year or more. They also stated that they would help with job placement and the only thing that I had was a job fair at the school where every student had approximately 25-30 minutes to talk to the possible employers. This was not enough time to discuss anything with anyone other than getting a business card and moving forward. After graduating, I was under the impression that my degree was worth around $50k a year within the area and was offered a couple of positions with the pay being upper $20k to lower $30k and I turned them down because I was told that my degree was worth $50k. Do you think I would have a good opportunity at the Defense Against Repayment petition?

        • Hi Jason,

          I do think you have a good chance at getting your loans forgiven, especially because you attended ITT Tech. Check out my page about the ITT Tech Student Loan Forgiveness Program.

          Basically, anyone who attended ITT Tech is eligible for some sort of refund (depending on what years you were actually there…), with some people being eligible for up to 100% forgiveness benefits.

  41. My husband attended ITT approximately 5 years ago. He used his GI Bill, as well as loans to cover tuition. The recruiter was hot and heavy on him throughout his first semester. My husband explained he worked an off shift and was assured classes offered would fit his schedule. That was not true, and my husband had to withdraw the following semester because of limited classes. With that, he didn’t get his degree in Computer Science and we are now saddled with those loans.
    With the recent events surrounding ITT and their practices, would you say we may benefit from the Defense Against Repayment option? We are not looking for a “freebie” but those hours/credits from ITT are worthless at this point.

    • Hi Janet,

      If he was promised classes fitting a schedule, and that promise was not delivered, then it’s possible he’ll be able to qualify for a Defense Against Repayment option. That’s a promise that was made and broken, and the schools aren’t allowed to do things like that.

      I would consult with a local attorney because having real legal representation could make or break your chances of qualifying. Consider doing that, or contact the Student Loan Ombudsman Group (1-877-557-2575) and asking them if you think there’s a chance at approval here.

      Just keep in mind that anything you tell them may be kept on record for future legal action, so be careful about how you proceed here.

  42. I meant to say. He has 5 failed classes, 4 credits a class. A total of 20 extra attempted but not earned credits. But their print out says 32 extra attempted but not earned.

  43. I was just going through my husband’s school papers, he/we about kept everything.he started before we were married. But I found that he signed the itt tech enrollment form 1/6/2005 first official paper signed, yet there was a 33k tuition charge on 12/10/2004! He did not start classes until March/2005 he did talk to them in 12/2004 to see if that’s where he wanted to go. We didn’t know about the charge until now! Also the final reports of credits attempted and credits earned don’t match! He did fail a few classes but then passed. It looks like they falsified how many classes he actually attempted, which was 12 extra credits, but did not earn them! I finally decided to go through his psperwork now that itt tech has closed! Because things were not adding up! What are the actually state laws that this has broken? They did have him graduate with his bachelors. But credit costs kept changing.

  44. Went to Itt Tech and just called my loan servicer for the paperwork for this since I didn’t qualify for the school closing discharge since I’ve been out of that school longer then 120 days.

  45. I received my AS and BS from ITT Tech. When I first went to meet with an ITT administrator, I was taken into her office where she promptly bought me lunch to tell me about the wonderful campus and how it could benefit me. She asked me my interests and pulled up a nifty website that showed business growth in various sectors and where the growth would be in 5 years. This she showed me would allow me to get through and associates and bachelors program and have time to find a job right before that particular job market exploded. She showed me a list of what I would earn with this degree. Then I was rushed through the loan process without realizing the loans I was taking out and the interest rates they came with. It wasn’t until after graduation I found out about some of them because they were nice enough to call and remind me my payment was almost late. Also one semester they didn’t bother doing financial aid paperwork and made me pay $3800 in order to receive my degree.

    • Hey Ryan,

      You may have a claim for the Defense Against Repayment provision, and I would consider consulting with an attorney to get assistance in taking care of this. There’s definitely a chance that you could get approved for a discharge.

  46. I submitted the borrowers defense to repayment because I attended a Corinthian college in 2010. After submission I hadn’t heard anything back for months so I decided to call about my application. I was told because I have FFEL loans that they are not accepting applications for those type of loans at this time. Why does it matter what type of loan it is? Fraud is fraud.

    • Hi Ashley,

      The Government sets the rules on these things, and for whatever reason, doesn’t offer much forgiveness for FFEL loans. I’m not sure what their logic is, but that’s the way it’s set up. Sorry.

    • Hi Ashley my name is Adriana. And I too attended a corinthian college in 2010 and have a FFEL and I submitted the borrower to defense to repayment form anyway. The govt wants u to back down so they can keep you’re money. Submit the form anyway don’t back down. Fight for what is right. Never trust the people who work for the govt. Mostly have a student loan themselves.

  47. Do you know if this would affect the Ashford/University of the Rockies colleges (Bridgepoint Education)? My Wife attended the latter school on the hopes of getting into the psychology field and found that a large majority of her professors were incompetent; and while she put in a ton of work, received little to no feedback. She could fog a mirror and get an A in the courses. We have also found that likely none of the courses will transfer to a local school offering the same program.

    • Hey Again Sean,

      It’s possible that you could qualify for a Defense Against Repayment discharge, but it will require proving that the school violated a state law. Typically, the way to get these approved is to prove that they lied to your wife about something – usually, it’d be for something like an expected salary, time to completion, eligibility for credit transfer, accreditation, job placement, financial aid, or some other promise that they made which couldn’t have been possibly fulfilled. If you’re serious about going this route, I would consider consulting with a local attorney.

    • Kristi Patterson says:

      I too got sucked into Ashford for NOT one but three degrees with “we can help you find that job you are wanting” offering a so called job board but no guarantees on the side. The job I have now although the requirements are for a degree in accounting anyone could do the job. NOT only that it’s not 6 figures and never will be. I’m 55 and after having graduated the last degree program had a.balance of $89k and that goes up every month with interest as I’m on an income based repayment plan. Best thing this school already has had a law suit brought against them for fraud and predatory lending practices when it came to their in-house private loans…what about federal I think it’s the same thing. Will this program help me too

      • Hi Kristi,

        Yes, the Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Program could help you get your loans discharged, especially if the school has already been found to have committed fraud and predatory lending – that dramatically increases the chances that your Borrowers Defense letter will be accepted, and your loans forgiven.

        Since your loan balance is so large, I’d recommend getting the help of a professional company who handles this process on a daily basis – you only get one shot at applying for a Borrower’s Defense discharge, and if you screw it up, you’re going to be stuck with that $89k loan balance forever.

        My favorite company operating in this space is the Federal Student Loan Relief Helpline. They are absolute experts at handling Borrowers Defense to Repayment applications, and they will significantly increase the chances that your request is approved.

        You can reach the Federal Student Loan Relief Helpline by calling 1-888-906-3065.

  48. Monica Rowe says:

    Hello, I was wondering if you think I might have a chance to get a discharge from the “borrowers defense to repayment” with the conduct that happened in my situation. Details are as follows:

    I was mislead about the true cost of the program and how I would be able to pay for it. Before I enrolled in classes at The Art Institute of Salt Lake City, my parents and I met with one of their financial department staff members to discuss my financial options. Because the staff member, Sydney Clark, said that I disqualified for any scholarships and government help (only because my parents “make too much money” according to her), I applied for a “parent plus loan” with each of my parents. They both were denied (without being given an explanation of why), so Sydney said we could make payments of $450 a month at 0% interest. She said that my monthly direct payments would be covering all the costs necessary for me to attend school there as a full time student.

    I began attending classes at The Art Institute of Salt Lake City in November 2010. In April 2011, after I had been making my monthly payments on time (every time), the financial department said that I owed the school more than what I had been paying. I was confused, and they explained that I had accruing interest on those payments. I had to talk to several staff members, going back and forth between each of them, in order to straighten out the misunderstanding. I presented the papers I signed at enrollment, and after examining them for quite some time, one staff member said he could see how it was “misinterpreted”. He waived the fee, but he also said that the next month’s payment would have interest on it.

    Later that year, I received a billing statement from a company called Great Lakes later that year. In the letter that I received from Great Lakes, it stated that “your lender has selected Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc. to service your student loan.” Nobody in the financial department at The Art Institute of Salt Lake City said that they would be choosing a lender for me. I did not give permission (at least knowingly) to the school to chose a lender for me or take out a loan in my name.

    The financial adviser I spoke to later that year had said that I needed to find my own lender to pay for the rest of the costs to stay enrolled in classes. This affected my decision to quickly find a lender, in which I took a loan out from Sallie Mae. In October 2011, I decided to withdraw from classes at the Art Institute because I was struggling financially to make monthly payments directly to the school, and I was discouraged that I would have to pay even more on top of that to two different lenders. In my final meeting with a financial adviser staff member, I was handed a check made by Sallie Mae, but he made me write a personal check to pay my “remaining balance”.

    The state laws I believe they violated were:

    “”26-20-1 Title. This chapter is known as the “Utah False Claims Act.” Amended by Chapter 48, 2007 General Session 26-20-2 Definitions. As used in this chapter: (1) “Benefit” means the receipt of money, goods, or any other thing of pecuniary value. (2) “Claim” means any request or demand for money or property: (a) made to any: (i) employee, officer, or agent of the state; (ii) contractor with the state; or (iii) grantee or other recipient, whether or not under contract with the state; and (b) if: (i) any portion of the money or property requested or demanded was issued from or provided by the state; or (ii) the state will reimburse the contractor, grantee, or other recipient for any portion of the money or property. (3) “False statement” or “false representation” means a wholly or partially untrue statement or representation which is: (a) knowingly made; and (b) a material fact with respect to the claim. (4) “Knowing” and “knowingly”: (a) for purposes of criminal prosecutions for violations of this chapter, is one of the culpable mental states described in Subsection 26-20-9(1); and (b) for purposes of civil prosecutions for violations of this chapter, is the required culpable mental state as defined in Subsection 26-20-9.5(1).”

    • It definitely sounds like you may have a shot at getting an approval. I would speak with an attorney or at least consult with an attorney to get assistance in drafting your Defense Against Repayment letter, because you really do only get one shot at this and it’s not worth risking screwing something up by going on your own. Please let me know how it goes as I’d love to be able to share a positive success story!

      I’ve been watching and waiting for examples of approved Defense to Repayment letters, but haven’t been able to find any yet. Perhaps it’s not legal to share them, or people just don’t want to put their details out there, but a repository of successful petitions would go a long way toward helping others figure out what to write, how to structure their letters, etc.

      Good luck!

      • Monica Rowe says:

        Thank you for your reply. I agree that having a consultation with an attorney will be helpful. However, paying for one will be difficult, and it may not be worth it if it is going to take more money to fight the loan than to just pay it back.

        I will let you know if I am successful with this. I’m crossing my fingers and taking the time to research everything as much as I can before I officially submit my application to the Department of Education.

        You would think that all the student loans would be forgiven automatically if you attended any schools that were owned by EDMC, since they were sued by the US Justice Department.

  49. I graduated from an Osteopathic Medical school. I did not match for residency. “Matching” is getting into a residency program, they pay you, it is your first job. The dean of my school lied to our graduating class saying that “everyone matched by the end of the day.” I was too embarrassed to correct him but did send an email that got no response. There were a lot of other unethical practices occurring regarding clinical rotations, there is a paper trail. I understand some people have pursued legal action. I am satisfied with were I ended up and I don’t intended to purse legal action but I wanted to post this for others. There are documents and data to support claims.



    I attended Everest College here in Chicago for a degree in Medical Administrative Assistant Program (MAA),. When I initially signed up, I had explained to them that I did not have my High School diploma nor did I have a GED. They ignored my statement and rushed me through the admissions process. Along with the rush through admissions process, they stated that I would receive financial aid considering I had no employment, a single mother of 2 at the time, and I will be fine so as long as I go for my GED immediately afterward. They promised a prominent position in the medical field with a high starting pay due to the education provided by them. They also stated that they will find an externship for me but when the time came for the “externship”, yes “externship” is what they called it; I found my own with no help from them and my own job in “ACCOUNTING” and nothing with medical. I am now in debt for a loan that I had no idea that they were signing me up for, they told me financial aid will cover everything but that I will have to pay the school $600 out of pocket while attending. I now have a student loan debt of $14,000 plus and never got the proper education or understanding of this whole thing. So my question is, is there some type of forgiveness for people which did not have a diploma from High School or a GED, when attending this Everest College Place? Please Help Me!!!

    • Hi Michelle,

      Did you read this page? It explains, in detail, how to pursue a discharge via the Defense Against Repayment Provision. You are going to have to write a letter to get your loans discharged. Read the steps on this page, put together your letter, and send it to the Department of Education.

  51. I attended Trident University from 2009-2011. In 2010 they were put on probation and almost lost their accreditation and honestly I didn’t learn one thing. I am not able to get a good enough job to pay my $500 a month student loan bill. They didn’t lie or break any laws and clearly since they were under review and probation from WASC they were not properly operating. Do you think I have a chance at getting these loans forgiven?

    • Hi Meg,

      You need to find something they did that violated state laws, in terms or lying or promising something that they should not have promised (like job placement, a certain salary, etc.). If you can’t prove that they violated a state law, or that they misled you in some way, then I don’t think your Defense Against Repayment application will be approved. It may be helpful to consult with a local attorney for advice.

  52. Christina M says:

    I attended a cosmetology institute back in 2012/2013. It was a year long program and they had never actually explained that my debt would be a 10,000$. About 6 months when I completed the required hours they were supposed to send me a working permit for cosmetology and they never did. I ended up dropping out from the program because I wasn’t able to work and now I’m stuck with paying this back. It comes up online that I have a working permit.. But they never actually sent the document to me. They have also promised that we could be working after 6 months with that permit. One of the people that was going to that institute dropped out the same time that I did and they only have to pay back $5000. Is this okay?? The whole time I went to that institute the instructors were rude and kept giving me issues all leading up to me dropping out.
    I need some help. Thanks. Please let me know what options I have.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Christina,

      If they violated state laws (and you can prove that they did) or misled you in some way, promising that you’d have a job, make a certain amount, etc., then you have a case that may allow you to qualify for a debt discharge under the Defense to Repayment Provision. I would advise that you speak with a local attorney who has experience dealing with student loans, and get their help drafting your Defense Against Repayment letter.

  53. Shannon Badawi says:

    I attended Everest Institute 2008-2009 after being sucked in and lied to. To this day I havnt obtained employment for the corse I took. Infact the reputation of the school is so bad I can’t even put them down. I had Ffel loan that was bought back by the federal government during the crisis so that have been my lender since I went. What happens to us?? My whole class has the same issues I do. All our loans were bought back and they are only allowing 2010 – 2014 students to apply for borrower defense. I think it’s pretty clear all students were defrauded at all times.

    • Hi Shannon,

      That’s a good question. I’m not sure why Defense Against Repayment and the Corinthian Colleges Loan Forgiveness Program set that arbitrary date for funding/relief, but that’s the way it’s been configured.

      You may still be able to qualify for a discharge though if you can prove that Everest broke a state law in the process of convincing you to sign up for their program. Don’t give up yet. Consider speaking with an attorney to see what they think, then write up that Defense to Repayment letter and fire it off.

      Then keep your fingers crossed and it might just work out…

  54. Julie Shaw says:

    Thank you for this article. I went to Everest College and was lied to about many things regarding the program. I am sitting here trying to compose a letter to the DOE right now. I tried to file a lawsuit against them about six months after graduating from the program which ended up being dropped due to the fact that I signed my rights away to a class action. I wish I had known I was signing away those rights at the time, but they were sneaky and got me. The attorney didn’t want to pursue it otherwise. I am going to include that information as well. I will come back and let you know how this goes. I cannot afford to hire an attorney, but I am doing plenty of research before submitting my final draft.

  55. what kind of attorney do you look for in helping write a defense to repayment? I attended a online school in Tampa Florida while living in Texas, do i look for a Florida attorney or a Texas one?

  56. Benjamin Merrill says:

    I want to be sure that Nancy Drews knows that the lawsuit brought against Globe/MN School of Bus. by MN Attorney General over their law enforcement training program is being heard right now. I also want to ask what response you got from the MN Office of Higher Education(OHE). I made formal complaints about the “acupuncture school” I went to in Roseville MN to the OHE. The school was a circus without standards or accountability. Really really bizarre behavior displayed from students and instructors. They were charging tens of thousands of dollars to students buying a diploma for a profession from which most people seem to wash out or make low wages. I found it interesting that the OHE turned a blind eye to a business pocketing federal loan money that was a hazard to finances, public health, and ethics. What was your experience with the MN OHE? I figure that the OHE is just rubber stamping crazy scam schools left and right b/c Minnesota seems to have plenty!

  57. Can you tell me if the borrower’s defence to repayment also could apply to private student loans such as through Sallie Mae?

    • Hi Robert,

      From the research I’ve done on this, I don’t think the Defense to Repayment provision applies to private student loan debt, unless you’ve defaulted on that loan and it’s being pursued by a private collection agency.

      I have two pieces of advise for you… first… you should speak to a local attorney who has experience in this area, and second, consider calling the Student Debt Relief helpline, at 1-888-694-8235. Let the helpline know what you’re facing, giving them details of your specific financial situation, and they should be able to offer you some advice on how best to proceed.

      Good luck!

  58. Angel Shellenbarger says:

    I attended Everest Online courses from October 2009 to July of 2012. I was told that they would help me find a job in that field once I completed the course. I was told that they had a high job placement rating. I did receive my associates degree from them. The only help that I received from them was a resume’. Now it is almost four years after completing the course and I am not working as a paralegal, but as an intake worker. I received an email from the US Department of Ed about loan forgiveness. I was made aware that Everest in Tampa is still operating. Am I still eligible for debt forgiveness?

    • Hi Angel,

      You need to read the full text of the article and determine that for yourself. Or, as an alternative, you could speak to a local attorney, or you could consult with the Student Debt Relief Helpline, who you can reach at 1-888-694-8235.

      I can’t answer your question because I don’t have enough information about your specific situation (private or federal loans, how large are they, have you been paying them back, were you misled by the school, etc.).

  59. Nancy Drews says:


    Thank you so much for all of this informative information.

    My daughter went to Globe College in Woodbury MN. She was guaranteed a full time high paying job in the field of computer IT services. So, she went to school there for 4 years. After graduating, she found out that none of her courses were accredited and none of her credits could be transferred to another college. When she applied at jobs, she was told that the education she received was worthless and no one would hire her in that field. So now she and I have $80,000 in student loans. As I had to take out Parent Loans to pay for their outrageous tuitions. We sent all of the required info and documents in for the defense for repayment. We sent this in last month, but haven’t heard anything yet. Since posting this article, have you heard if anyone is getting good new regarding this? Do you know how long it takes to hear anything? Thank again, Nancy & Kaitlin Drews

    • Hi Nancy,

      I think your daughter has a good shot at getting a discharge based on the phrase “guaranteed a full time high paying job in the field of computer IT services”. If her school really GUARANTEED that, then she should qualify for a Defense to Repayment Discharge.

      I have not received anything specific to anyone getting their discharge yet, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t being issued. Typically, I only hear from the people who are having problems. Success stories are very rarely shared with me, unfortunately.

      Did you get an attorney’s help in drafting your Defense Against Repayment letter, or did you take care of it all yourself?

  60. About 13 years ago I spoke with somebody at National American University in Colorado Springs about getting my associates degree in medical assisting. I was working a full-time day job and was assured that I would be able to complete my classes at night and the school would get me placed in an externship position that would be able to fit around my normal work schedule. I was also assured that after completing all of the classes I needed for my degree that my student loan repayment “would be around $100.00 a month. And they give you years and years to pay that off.”
    When it was getting close to time to start my externship I started asking about getting one set up. I was repeatedly told that something would be done “soon.” After a couple of months I was finally told that there were no options of an externship that I could do that wouldn’t interfere with my work hours and that I’d just have to “take a leave of absence or quit my job. ” if I wanted my degree. So, now I have over $4k in student loan debt from that school but no degree to show for it.
    What are my options?

    • Hi Yvonne,

      I’m not authorized to give legal advice (only an attorney can), but if I were you, I’d definitely pursue the Defense Against Repayment provision process. Read through my post to figure out exactly what you need to do (create the official letter saying you lied to, submit it, etc.), and I think you may have a chance at having your loans forgiven.

  61. Michelle says:

    I submitted my Borrower Defense to Repayment on November 30, 2015 and then another one on January 21, 2016 because I had found more information that Kaplan University was using deceptive practices and that none of my credits would transfer to any of the colleges in my state. I haven’t heard anything from the Department of Education. Is there a number I can contact to find out the status of my requests?

    • Hi Michelle,

      I haven’t heard of any option for following up on submitted requests, but you may want to try contacting the Student Loan Ombudsman Group to see if they know of a way to do this. You can reach them here: 1-877-557-2575.

      Please come back and let me know what you find out!

    • Michelle, I am submitting one for Kaplan as well. What information did you find regarding their deceptive practices? Did you ever hear anything back? Thanks!

  62. My brother enrolled in an accredited Chiropractic School to earn his Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine. Three years into his four year program, the school lost its accreditation. He was unable to transfer any of his units to other schools, lost three years of education, and is now over $100,000 in student loan debt for units he cannot use. After earning his Doctorate, he would have been responsible for passing his National Board Exam, but essentially he would have been a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine with the earning potential of $118,000-$189,000/year. The school did not promise a job or income, but they did promise a Doctorate of Chiropractic Medicine from an Accredited Chiropractic School. Do you think his situation would qualify for a Defense Against Repayment Forgiveness? He had to file for bankruptcy because the loan payments forced he and his family to move in with my parents. He specifically brought up this issue with his lawyer, but his lawyer did not bring it up in court. Until reading this, I thought maybe his situation did not qualify. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Amy,

      Good news! Assuming your brother’s school loans were Federally-based, he should be able to qualify for the Closed School Discharge Program. This program was created just for his specific situation.

      It’s possible he may be able to qualify for forgiveness under the Defense Against Repayment Provision as well, but I would pursue the Closed School Discharge first (click the link abve for details on it). If his lawyer didn’t bring this up in court, then he needs to consult with a new attorney that has specific experience in getting rid of student loans.

  63. Where or which address do I mail my Defense to Repayment letter?

  64. Andrew Elder says:

    Hi Tim,

    Thank you for writing this. One question. You mention hiring an attorney to help apply for this program. What kind of attorney do you recommend I contact? What specialty of law?

  65. I have a question – I received an Associates degree on line from Kaplan in 2005 and Bachelors from American Intercontinental in 2007 on line. I have been paying student loans since then. I thought it would help advance my career but it seems there is no respect for on-line degrees in the business field. I am now 61 and my health will force me to retire in another year, what options are there for me since these payments will equal greater than 50% of my social security income?

  66. I was recruited in 2004 to attend school that was offering A bachelors degree in
    Interior Design. This degree and all the classes were online. The question of the 50% rule has
    Been mentioned in many recent articles. I understand the deregulation of this rule occurred in 2006.
    Prior to deregulation in 2006 what did the law
    Allow or disallow when it comes to student loans and tile lv funding?

    • Hi Kim,

      I haven’t been following the space that long so I can’t speak to that time period with much authority. I would guess that Google could get you a pretty solid answer to your question though. When you figure it out, please come back and share with the rest of us! I would greatly appreciate any insight that you could shed on the issue!

    • Curiosity got the better of me and I did a bit of digging. Which 50% rule are you referring to, as it looks like there were a couple provisions discussing 50%. Here’s three different eligibility rules for institutions covering their access to Title IV funds:

      • At Least 50% of the Regular Students Enrolled in an Award Year Must Be High School Graduates or the Equivalent
      • No More Than 50% of Courses in an Award Year Can Be Offered by Correspondence and Telecommunications Courses are Correspondence Courses if All Telecommunications Courses and Correspondence Courses Together Equal at Least 50% of All Courses Provided
      • No More Than 50% of Regular Students Enrolled in an Award Year Can Be Enrolled in Correspondence Courses

      I believe that these were the rules as of the passage of the 1992 Higher Education Amendment, so I think your answer is in one of these conditions.

      • Just seeing this reply. I was recruited to achieve the degree completely online in 2004. It appears at that time of my recruitment this was prohibited. The online degree would not be accredidated. I have since submitted a defense to repayment based on this lie and other misrepresentations.

        • Hi Kim,

          Online degrees may have been accredited in 2004, but you’d have to check the specific school’s accreditation statements/status from that time to find out. Try looking at their website through the Internet Archive and see if you can find their old accreditation information.

  67. This was only introduced in Congress on 4/30/2015, it never went anywhere!

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