Nationally, $5.8 billion in loan balances discharged for 560,000 borrowers
DES MOINES — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller commends the U.S. Department of Education’s actions to cancel $5.8 billion in student loan balances for students who attended Corinthian Colleges, a defunct for-profit college chain.
“This will provide long-needed relief for student loan borrowers in Iowa and across the nation,” Miller said. “Our office has been working with other attorneys general to get this relief for more than seven years and we are proud to see those efforts lead to this outcome.”
The Biden administration’s announcement last week means more than 560,000 borrowers will have their federal student loan balances discharged. In Iowa, more than 500 students were eligible for debt cancellation when the school closed in 2015.
Miller led a multistate investigation into Corinthian before its collapse. The investigation found that the school lied to students about future job prospects, falsified data on graduate success, and wrongly claimed students could transfer credits to other colleges.
In addition, Miller and a group of attorneys general worked with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau to recover $183.3 million in private student loans for 41,000 borrowers through a nationwide settlement with Aequitas Capital Management Inc., a lender that made predatory loans to students at Corinthian.
Since the closing of Corinthian, Miller has continued to advocate for defrauded Iowa students. In 2017, Miller and a multistate coalition urged former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to discharge the federal student loans borrowed by students who were defrauded by Corinthian. Later that year, Miller and a group of attorneys general sued the Education Department for violating federal law by wrongfully repealing student borrower protections that allowed defrauded borrowers to seek loan relief.
“It is a milestone in a journey so many of us have been travelling for quite some time — a journey for justice for everyone who was defrauded by Corinthian Colleges,” Vice President Kamala Harris said last week. “Students who simply wanted to better their prospects in life and instead found themselves taken advantage of by a scam that took their money and gave them nothing in return except heartache.”
The Corinthian decision is an important step in helping consumers, but many students defrauded by for-profit institutions still need relief. Miller has been hard at work seeking relief for former students of ITT Tech, Career Education Corp. (CEC), and others, while continuing to fight for federal protections for all defrauded students.
How to seek loan forgiveness
If your school misled you or engaged in other misconduct in violation of certain state laws, you may be eligible for a program known as Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment. This is the discharge of some or all of your federal student loan debt. To learn more or apply, see https://studentaid.gov/borrower-defense/