ALERT: BE WARY OF EMAILS OR PHONE CALLS RELATED TO THIS RELIEF ANNOUNCEMENT & WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS. Any communication about relief should come directly from the Department of Education or your servicer. If you have any doubt about a communication you receive, call the Borrower Defense Hotline (1-855-279-6207) or your servicer. If you suspect that you have received a scam email or phone call, you can report it to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission.
On March 18, 2021, the Department of Education announced that approximately 72,000 people will get 100% relief on their borrower defense application. Previously these people got what was called “partial relief” on their application. This means that the Department decided they were defrauded and granted their borrower defense application, but granted less than 100% discharge of their loans. For more information, please review the frequently asked questions and answers below. We will update them as more information becomes available.
1. How do I know if I am included in the group of 72,000 people who are now getting 100% on their borrower defense application?
Only people whose borrower defense applications were already granted and received a partial relief decision are included in this group. Between 2017 and 2021, the Department granted applications but only cancelled a portion of borrowers’ debt. The range of partial cancellation was from 0% to 75%.
2. How do I know if I received a partial relief decision from the Department of Education on my borrower defense application?
If you received a partial relief determination on your borrower defense application, you should have received a communication (letter or email) from the Department of Education letting you know.
3. I am not sure if I received partial relief on my borrower defense application.
If you are not sure whether you received a partial relief decision, you can call your servicer or the Department of Education’s Borrower Defense Hotline at 1-855-279-6207 between 8 AM and 8 PM eastern time to find out.
4. What schools did these students attend?
Only people who attended a Corinthian school (Wyotech, Everest, Heald) or ITT Technical Institute received a partial relief decision on their borrower defense application. The Department of Education has not granted borrower defense applications from any other schools, and therefore no one from any other school has received a partial relief decision.
5. Did everyone from a Corinthian school or ITT get a partial relief decision?
No, only a small group of people who attended those schools and who submitted a borrower defense application received partial relief decisions. Now, those people are getting 100% relief instead of whatever partial relief they were previously assigned.
6. I got a denial. How does this affect me?
This does not affect the borrower defense denials. However, the Department of Education has said that, for all people whose borrower defense applications have been denied since December 2019, those loans will be held in forbearance until the resolution of the Sweet v. Cardona case.
7. Will I ever get relief on my application if I am not part of the 72,000?
The recent announcement is good news for the borrowers who are covered, but there are still hundreds of thousands of borrowers who still have not received a decision on their borrower defense application, or had their application denied. The Project on Predatory Student Lending is continuing to fight on behalf of all students who were cheated by their school and by the borrower defense process.