Some CA student loans will be forgiven. Who is eligible?

One of the nation’s largest student loan providers will reduce more than $1.7 billion in debt for borrowers nationwide in a settlement reached between the company and dozens of state attorneys general last month. Tens of thousands of Californians will see some of that money.

Attorneys general in California and 38 other states have sued student loan manager Navient for allegedly leading borrowers into expensive, long-term repayment plans — forbearances — instead of advising them on income-driven ones . The attorneys general also disputed that Navient, which was part of Sallie Mae until 2014, imposed private subprime loans on students at for-profit schools with low graduation rates despite knowing that many borrowers would not be able to afford it. able to repay their debt.

Navient has denied the lawsuit allegations, with its legal director saying the company’s decision to settle allowed it “to avoid the additional burden, expense, time and distraction that would prevail in court”.

In total, Navient will give $95 million to federal borrowers and forgive $1.7 billion in private student loan debt in the United States. $11.5 million of direct restitution and about $261 million of debt forgiveness will go to California borrowers.

About 357,000 federal borrowers with some type of long-term forbearance — including 43,000 Californians — will receive $260 in restitution. About 66,000 borrowers — including more than 7,400 Californians — will have their private loan debt erased.

Here’s what the attorneys general’s offices wrote about eligibility for the relief:

Am I eligible for the refund?

Persons eligible for a restitution check must have resided in one of the following locations as of January 2017: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, or Wisconsin, or be associated with an address military postal code.

You should be eligible if you started repayment of a Federal Direct or Federal Loans for Family Education (FFEL) program loan before January 2015, if you had at least one loan eligible for repayment based on income, two years consecutive forbearance periods between October 2009 and January 2017 (with certain conditions) and did not enroll in the income-based refund prior to that forbearance period.

To find out if your student loans are going through Navient, check “My Loan Servicers” on your studentaid.gov account. Or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

Am I entitled to debt forgiveness?

Your registered mailing address as of June 30, 2021 must be in one of the states in the paragraph above or in Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, West Virginia , or be associated with a military postal code address.

Some borrowers who took out private student loans for people with low credit scores, called subprime loans, through Sallie Mae between 2002 and 2014 and had more than seven consecutive months of failed payments before the June 30 should see some relief. The cancellation also applies to certain non-subprime private loans made during the same period to attend specific for-profit schools listed here.

Check your most recent communication from the company that sends invoices for private student loan repayments or check your credit report to determine who your provider is.

Some borrowers may be eligible for both debt restitution and cancellation.

How to obtain the restitution or the cancellation of the debt?

If you are eligible for debt cancellation, you will receive written notice from Navient by July 2022 that your debt has been canceled and your credit bureau will be alerted to remove the loan information. You will be refunded any payments made after June 30, 2021. You do not need to take any further action.

If you are eligible for a restitution payment, you will receive a postcard in the mail from the Attorney General Settlement Administrator in the spring of 2022. Checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2022, according to the webpage of the regulations of the attorneys general. You don’t have to do anything to receive money, just make sure your details and address are correct on studentaid.gov, or create an account there if you don’t have one.

A Navient representative has confirmed the information in this section, but has had no further updates at this time.

Learn more and follow updates at www.NavientAGSettlement.com.

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Gillian Brassil is the congressional reporter for McClatchy’s California Publications. She covers federal policies, people, and issues impacting the Golden State from Capitol Hill. She graduated from Stanford University.

About Judith J. George

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