1. What is a Borrower Defense to Repayment Application?
A Borrower Defense to Repayment application is form you can fill out to let the Department of Education know that you have been cheated, lied to, or misled by your school and that you are eligible to have your federal student loans cancelled.
2. Where do I apply?
You can go to the Department of Education’s website for information on how to apply. You can apply in three ways:
U.S. Department of Education – Borrower Defense to Repayment
P.O. Box 1854
Monticello, KY 42633
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PORTAL
If you have any supporting documents or paperwork, you should include it, but don’t worry if you don’t. Please be aware of any scam emails or phone calls you may receive related to applying for borrower defense. Submitting a Borrower Defense to Repayment application is free and you should always apply directly to the Department of Education.
3. Can anyone apply for Borrower Defense to Repayment?
Yes, anyone with federal student loans who feels like they were defrauded can apply.
4. What if I did not keep any paperwork they gave me? I am worried I don’t have enough evidence.
That’s okay! You should still apply. All you have do is talk about your experiences with the school in as much detail as you can recall. If you need some help, you can use this guide, which has a helpful worksheet, to help you complete the application.
5. What is the point of applying for Borrower Defense to Repayment? I heard everyone is getting denied.
It is true that under the previous administration, many Borrower Defense application were denied. We are currently challenging those denials in court in a case called Sweet v. Cardona. But, with this new administration, the Department has moved forward with granting a number of applications, so now a good time to apply. Additionally, your federal loans will be in forbearance once you apply for borrower defense. Currently the payment pause extension set to expire May 1, 2022.
6. What if I received a notice that my loans will be discharged, but there is an error on my notification and it has the wrong school name?
Certain eligible borrowers have received a notification from the Department of Education that their federal student loans have been discharged through borrower defense. In some instances, the wrong school name was listed. This is only a clerical error and if you received this type of notice, you are still going to get your loans discharged. The Department of Education is working on sending out new, corrected notices. If you do not receive a new, corrected notice in the next few weeks, we encourage borrowers to contact the borrower defense hotline to discuss their borrower defense application and the notice. The borrower defense hotline number is 1-855-279-6207.
7. How do I know if I have already applied for Borrower Defense to Repayment or how can I find out the status of my application?
If you are unsure if you already have an application pending or if you would like to know the status of your application, you can call the Department of Education’s borrower defense hotline at 855-279-6207 (open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday) and ask them. Each application should have a claim number associated with it.
8. What will happen to Borrower Defense applicants when the Covid-19 payment pause ends?
If you have submitted a borrower defense application and either (i) have not received a decision, or (ii) received notice that your borrower defense was granted but have not yet received your relief, or (iii) received a form denial notice in or after December 2019, you should not have to resume payments on your federal student loans when the Covid-19 payment pause ends on May 1, 2022. Please see the Department of Education's latest borrower defense update: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/borrower-defense-update. If you are in one of these categories and you do experience collection activity, or if you receive a demand for payment from your federal loan servicer, please get in touch with us.