Great news: it’s NOT a scam!
If you’ve received a letter from your state’s Attorney General, then you’re one of the lucky people who’s finally getting official notification of your eligibility for a major new Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
Finally, someone in the Government is proactively working on expanding awareness of the great Corinthian Colleges Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
45 Attorneys General are now sending letters directly to Corinthian Colleges students to let them know that the Federal student loans they took out to pay for education courses at Everest Institute, Everest College, Everest University, Heald College and Wyotech are all eligible for complete student loan forgiveness.
This is the consummation of a movement that began way back in 2015, when a group of AGs lobbied the Federal Government to create a forgiveness program for these loans due to the fact that Corinthian Colleges was shutting down it’s nationwide network of schools, effectively leaving millions of Americans on the hook for loans that could not lead to actual college degrees.
The number of students eligible for this loan program vary by state, but virtually every state in the Union has people who are aware of this little-understood, and poorly-advertised benefit.
How Does Corinthian Colleges Forgiveness Work?
Instead of going through the traditional Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program, which requires making payments of 10-20 years on the debt before it’s forgiven, Corinthian Colleges Forgiveness offers students the ability to receive an immediate, and total forgiveness benefit.
Students who are eligible for the program will soon be receiving a letter directly from their state Attorneys General office explaining what the program is, how it works, and including an official application for the benefit, which must be completed and returned to the U.S. Department of Education.
The best news about this program – anyone who does end up qualifying for the forgiveness benefit won’t only have their outstanding loans forgiven, but will also get a refund for any payments already made. That, dear reader, is HUGE, and sets a great precedent for all the other Defense Against Repayment Letters that people across the country are crafting.
Why Does This Program Exist?
Corinthian Colleges was found to be violating all sorts of state and Federal laws a few years back, and after struggling under the weight of some intense Federal investigations, closed campuses across the country, including many campuses with active students enrolled in degree-seeking programs.
These students were left completely out of luck, with no way to finish their degrees, a huge debt load, and very little opportunity to transfer their credits to other well-respected schools (Corinthian didn’t have a great name in the industry).
What Was it That Corinthian Did?
According to the Department of Education, Corinthian was accused of making “widespread misrepresentations… about post-graduation employment rates for certain programs”; essentially, telling people that their college degrees were worth a lot more than they actually were.
It’s the same sort of behavior that would lead to false advertising accusations in other industries, but it’s even more nefarious here since earning a college degree doesn’t just take up 3-4 years of your life, but also leads to a mountain of potentially unescapable debt… especially for students who can’t find good jobs, or any job at all.
Are All Corinthian Students Eligible?
Unfortunately, not all students who attended Corinthian Colleges are eligible for the streamlined version of the forgiveness benefit, but everyone who’s attended school anywhere is always eligible to take advantage of the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment provision of student loan laws, which allows you to challenge the validity of your debt and request a debt discharge.
Under the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program, what you need to do is prove that the school you attended did something illegal, like lying about job placement rates, or salary rates of graduates, misrepresenting the ease of transferring their credits to other accredited schools, or making some sort of promise that they couldn’t deliver on.
Any violation of a state or Federal law done by the school opens them up for losing the claim on your debt, and makes it possible for you to qualify for a complete student loan discharge.
For details and the application paperwork on the Borrowers Defense Against Repayment Program, visit the official studentaid.ed.gov website, here.
Can I Stop Paying My Loan After Submitting My Application?
Unfortunately, it’s likely to take months, or even years, for the Department of Education to process everybody’s paperwork, and until you’re completely approved, you’ll need to continue making your monthly student loan payments.
Don’t stop making your payments until you’ve received a written letter from the Department of Education itself, who will inform you that they’ve placed your loan in forebearance while reviewing your application.
Where Can I Go To Ask Questions About This Program?
Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below, and I’ll do my best to get you a quick response, but for official answers, I’d recommend contacting the U.S. Department of Education hotline by calling 1-855-279-6207, or emailing them at FSAOperations@ed.gov.
Are Any Other Schools Offering Similar Forgiveness Programs?
I’m glad you asked, because, YES, as it so happens, Corinthian isn’t the only system on the hook to allow students to discharge their debt.
In fact, some of the best possible forgiveness programs in the country are now available to people who attended for-profit schools that have shut down, via a the Closed School Loan Discharge Program.
The biggest, most widely known school currently eligible for Closed School Loan Discharges would definitely be Corinthian, but number two is certainly ITT Tech. For information on getting rid of your ITT Tech-related debt, please visit my page about the ITT Tech Student Loan Forgiveness Program.
And if you happened to attend DeVry, then I’ve got good news for you as well, because DeVry’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program is now one of the best in the country, especially as it’s one of the only to offer Forgiveness for Private Student Loans, in addition to Federal Loan Forgiveness.
Finally, anyone having their loans serviced by Navient should be celebrating as well, because they appear to be the Federal Government’s next target, after having been labelled as committing all sorts of abuse in an accusation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
To look into options for Navient borrowers, please view my page on the Navient Student Loan Forgiveness Program.