You May Not Have To Repay Your Federal Student Loans If Your School Lied To Get You To Enroll

Posted on: August 17, 2021
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If you took out student loans based on untrue statements from your school, you may be able to get the loans canceled. (This is called “borrower defense to repayment.”)

This help is only for federal student loans. The loans must have been taken out to pay a school that violated specific laws or did certain other things that were wrong. Sometimes people can even get a refund of past loan payments.

Recently the U.S. Department of Education canceled 1,800 student loans for this reason.


What kind of things might cancel a student loan?

The most common reasons for this loan relief are lies by the school, or its representatives, when  they recruited you to enroll or to continue in the school. The school must have broken state laws specific to federal student loans.

Other problems with the school’s programs, classes, housing, or facilities is not enough for this loan relief. (There might be other relief if the school closed while you were there or shortly after you stopped going.)


How do I apply for this help?

To file for this “borrower defense to repayment,” fill out a form online with your Federal Student Aid (FSA) login. The form takes about 30 mins to fill out..

You’ll need documents that show why you qualify and any financial harm the school caused you. This could include transcripts, enrollment agreements, advertisements about the school, or communications with school employees. But other documents proving the misconduct may work, too.

If your school has closed, get copies of your academic and financial aid records. You might need these to try to get your loans cancelled. You may also need these if you want to go to another school.


I sent in my application. What happens next?

The U.S. Department of Education will send you an email about whether it will cancel your loan.  You can appeal if the government refuses to cancel your loan. This is called asking for “reconsideration.” You can do this by email, regular mail, or by using your FSA login. To find out more about how to appeal a decision and applying for loan cancellation go to:

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