1. What are PEAKS loans?
PEAKS loans are private loans held by PEAKS Trust. Most of these loans began as “temporary credits,” which ITT issued directly to students for tuition costs not covered by federal and private loans. When students were unable to pay back these temporary credits, ITT worked with private lenders such as PEAKS to convert the temporary credits into high-interest private loans. Once these debts became PEAKS loans, they were no longer owned by ITT. Therefore, they were not cancelled as a result of the student class settlement with the Trustee. The settlements between PEAKS and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and 47 states plus the District of Columbia, compel the PEAKS to cancel and stop collection on all loans it owns relating to ITT.
2. How do I know if I have PEAKS loans?
You can tell if you have PEAKS loans by:
1. Looking to see if you receive billing statements from Active Financial, Vervent (formerly First Associates), First Associates or anything with the PEAKS name on it; or
2. Checking to see whether PEAKS or First Associates is on your credit report. You can check your credit report for free using https://www.annualcreditreport.com/. Anyone can request one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
3. If I refinanced my PEAKS loans into a different private loan, will they be affected by these settlements?
No, if you refinanced or consolidated your PEAKS loans, these settlements do not affect those loans and they will not be canceled as a result of these settlements.
4. What do the PEAKS settlements do for students?
As a result of the settlements, PEAKS will:
- Stop collection on and cancel all outstanding loans it owns relating to ITT; and
- Request that the credit reporting bureaus delete all PEAKS entries.
5. When do the settlements take effect?
The settlements took effect immediately on October 1, 2020. Please note that it may take up to 30 days for the cancellation of the loans to take effect and that you may still receive billing notices from PEAKS (this may be from First Associates or Vervent). You can disregard any requests for payments and you are not required to make any payments after October 1, 2020.
6. Will I be notified if I have PEAKS loans that have been cancelled?
PEAKS will attempt to reach every person affected by the settlements to notify them that their loans have been cancelled. Still, you may not receive a notification if PEAKS does not have your current contact information.
7. Can I stop paying my PEAKS loans?
As of October 1, 2020, you no longer need to make payments on your PEAKS loans. You should stop making payments immediately and cancel any automatic payments you have arranged.
8. If I have PEAKS loans and have been making payments on them, will I get money back?
No, you will not get any money back for payments made before the settlements were approved on October 1, 2020. The PEAKS settlements only cancel any outstanding balance as of October 1, 2020.
9. What if I made payments on PEAKS loans after October 1, 2020 (the day the settlements were approved)?
If you made payments towards PEAKS loans after October 1, 2020, PEAKS/Vervent will make every effort to return those payments to you. To ensure receipt of this refund, you should provide PEAKS/Vervent with your current contact information. You can provide PEAKS/Vervent with your contact information via their hotline at 1- 866-747-0273.
10. Does this settlement affect my federal or other private loans?
No, the PEAKS settlements DO NOT affect any federal or other private loans.
- Federal Loans: We continue to work towards, and we are pressuring the Department of Education for, the cancellation of all federal student loans relating to ITT.
- Other Private Loans: Any other private loans not owned by the PEAKS entities are not affected by these settlements.
- Temporary credits NOT converted to private loans: Any outstanding student debt that was owed directly to ITT at the time it declared bankruptcy, including temporary credits, was cancelled as a result of the student class settlement.
11. Will my PEAKS loans be removed from my credit report?
PEAKS must request, within 30 days of October 1, 2020, that all PEAKS loans be removed from your credit report. Please note that it may take longer than 30 days for PEAKS to make the request and ultimately, it is up to the credit bureaus to remove the loans from your report. If the loans remain on your credit report 60 DAYS after October 1, 2020, you should contact the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to dispute the account, and submit evidence of the settlements.
12. Where can I find copies of the PEAKS settlements?
Below are links to the various settlements discussed in this FAQ:
The PEAKS settlement with CFPB:
ITT students’ settlement with the Trustee:
13. Who can I contact about the PEAKS settlement?
If you would like information about your specific PEAKS loans, you can contact the PEAKS hotline at 1- 866-747-0273. If you would like information about the settlements, you can contact your state’s attorney general’s office or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.