The vast majority of students who take out federal loans to fund their education are required to eventually repay these loans in full. But what if the institution you are attending closes, or is found to have violated the law?
If you are a student or graduate of a Corinthian school, you could be eligible for debt relief from the federal government. It was determined in 2015 that Corinthian Colleges, Inc., the company that operated Everest College, Heald College, and WyoTech schools, defrauded students by providing false information about the job rates of graduates.
Due to this finding, and to the subsequent closing of Corinthian college campuses, students who took out federal loans to attend a Corinthian school have the opportunity to apply for debt relief.
What is debt relief?
Debt relief is forgiveness of debt, in part or in full. If you attended Corinthian Colleges, you could be eligible to have up to 100% of your federal student debt from your Corinthian program discharged or forgiven.
How do I know if I am eligible for debt relief?
There are two types of debt relief that you may be eligible for as a Corinthian student or graduate, depending on your situation:
- If you attended one of Corinthian’s campuses that closed on April 27, 2015 (a list of these campuses can be found here), or if you withdrew from one of these campuses on or after June 24, 2014, you may be eligible for closed school debt relief for your Federal Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan Program loans, or Federal Perkins Loans. Note that if you later transferred your credits to a different school, this might impact your eligibility for debt relief.
- If you attended a Corinthian campus that did not close on April 27th, 2015, but you believe you were defrauded by the school, you may be eligible for debt relief for your Federal Direct Loans under a borrower defense to repayment.
How do I apply for debt relief?
First, determine whether you are more likely to be eligible for closed school debt relief or for debt relief under a borrower defense to repayment.
If you are applying for closed school debt relief, you must do so through your loan servicer. You may send them this application or contact them directly to see if they have their own application. There is no deadline to apply.
Instructions for applying for debt relief under a borrower defense to repayment are still under development; however, in the meantime, you can apply by submitting Borrower Defense to Repayment materials (a list of these materials is available on this page). Note that if you attended a Heald College location, you may be eligible for an expedited application process.
In either case, it may take time for your application for debt relief to be processed. You can request that your student loan payments be put into forbearance while your application is being considered (for up to 12 months), though you should note that interest will continue to accrue during this period.
What about my private loans?
The two types of debt relief listed above apply only to federal loans. If you took out private loans to attend a Corinthian school, contact your private lender to ask whether debt relief is an option.
Where can I find more resources?
The Department of Education has comprehensive resources available on its website for individuals who have attended a Corinthian school and are interested in applying for debt relief. You should read through these pages thoroughly before applying:
The government has also set up a borrower defense hotline at (855) 279-6207 for students who have questions about borrower defense to repayment.
If you need to find out who your loan servicer is, log into your borrower account at the Federal Student Aid website or call (800) 4-FED-AID.
Additionally, you can contact Next Steps EDU, an organization created to offer support and resources to students of Corinthian Colleges, through its website.
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