Private lender Navient has secret debt discharge program tied to school misconduct

Since 1994, the Department of Education has had a process for discharging federal student loan debt where students show they were defrauded or misled by the schools they attended- referred to as the “borrower defense” process. The Biden Administration’s borrower defense rule is currently on hold as a result of a Fifth Circuit opinion. But even under that rule, the process only applies to federal student loans. The Project on Predatory Student Lending, though, has discovered that Navient, a large private lender, operates a program that allows borrowers to seek debt forgiveness on similar grounds. Navient does not publicize the program, so PPSL is doing so itself, posting the application form and information on its own website and launching an awareness campaign. The New York Times’ coverage of the initiative is available here.

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