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Were you lied to or misled by your school?

The Borrower Defense to Repayment rules provide students who were misled or otherwise harmed by their school’s misconduct a right to cancellation of their federal student loans.  Some examples of deception include:

  • Your school misrepresenting job outcomes for students – for example, telling you 90% of graduates obtain jobs 

  • Your school misrepresenting the quality of instruction

  • Your school misrepresenting the transferability of credits 

 

If you think this applies to you, you should apply for borrower defense. You can apply online or by mail here: https://studentaid.gov/borrower-defense/login. You have the option of putting your loans in forbearance (pausing payments, but interest still adds up) while your application is pending. The New York Legal Assistance Group has created a helpful guide to help you complete this application: https://nylag.org/borrower-defense-to-repayment-application-guide/

Students who attended certain institutions are legally entitled to a full discharge of their loans, in some cases, this discharge should be automatic (meaning, you don’t need to apply). Discharge is automatic for students who attended:

  • Corinthian Colleges (Heald; Everest; WyoTech schools) from 1995-2015; 

  • Marinello School of Beauty between January 2009 and February 2016; 

  • Westwood College (Westwood) between Jan. 1, 2002, and Nov. 17, 2015; 

  • ITT Technical Institute (ITT) from Jan. 1, 2005, through its closure in September 2016. 

 

If you attended these schools but did not attend during the applicable dates, you should still apply for a discharge, but the discharge is not automatic or guaranteed.

Other schools for which the U.S. Department of Education has found wrongdoing include: 

  • American Career Institutes; 

  • Court Reporting Institute; 

  • DeVry University; and 

  • Minnesota School of Business/Globe University. 

 

You should apply for borrower defense if you attended these schools. Additionally, if you attended schools on this list and have not yet applied for borrower defense, you should do so. 

If you have applied for borrower defense but have not yet heard back, you may be entitled to a full discharge of your loans. The settlement in the lawsuit Sweet v. Cardona (formerly DeVos), which concerned the Department’s unreasonable delay in responding to borrower defense applications, provides that borrower defense applicants with pending applications as of June 22, 2022 are entitled to certain rights. Such students who attended a school on this list are entitled to a full discharge of their loans; others should receive an answer within the amount of time specified in the table here under a streamlined process.

For more information, call 1-855-279-6207 or visit the following resources:

 

If you have private loans, you may have a legal right to cancellation but you will need assistance. To find an attorney, you can search the National Association of Consumer Advocates or the Legal Services Corporation to find a legal aid office in your county or state. 

Did your school close while you were attending or soon after your withdrawal?
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