Many borrowers who are still waiting for proper confirmation that their debt has been canceled have instead been left without concrete answers from the Department of Education, according to the Hill.
The Biden administration announced the student debt relief for borrowers of Corinthian Colleges, which ceased operations in 2015, in June. The action would be $5.8 billion in full loan discharges for 560,000 borrowers, making it the largest loan discharge in the history of the department.
In a statement to the Washington Examiner, the DOE said it has “been working diligently to reinvigorate a borrower defense process” and has made more progress than any previous administration.
“We’ve approved the most borrower defense claims of any administration, signing off on full relief for more than 1 million borrowers to receive a combined $14 billion in discharges, and ramped up our oversight by reestablishing the Office of Enforcement within FSA,” Undersecretary of Education James Kvaal told the Washington Examiner. “The Biden-Harris administration will continue to stand up for borrowers who’ve been cheated by their colleges and clear the backlog created by the previous administration to ensure borrowers receive the relief they deserve.”
As of Friday, the Education Department has discharged loans for nearly 53,000 borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges, ITT Technical Institute, and Marinello Schools of Beauty, the statement said.
However, months have passed since the Biden administration’s announcement, and many borrowers are still largely in the dark, with a Facebook group titled “Loan Discharge: Corinthian Colleges/Heald/Wyotech/Everest” created for people still waiting for proper confirmation on their debt cancellation. Megan Caplan, 34, has received no communication from the Department of Education since the announcement other than a letter she received in July telling her she would not have to pay her loans.
Another borrower and a member of the Facebook group, Becky, 41, has not received a letter from the Education Department regarding the announcement at all. She tried calling Navient, a student loans company, which directed her to call the Department of Education, but when calling the department, she was then directed to call Navient for more information.
“Neither one knows anything,” she said.
Scott Buchanan, the executive director of Student Loan Servicing Alliance, admitted the Education Department has not kept borrowers up to date, but he added that the department has been juggling “five different major announcements,” with some programs undergoing “major changes,” such as the Biden administration’s announcement giving $10,000 relief for all student loan borrowers in August.
“Working through all those logistics is very, very difficult,” Buchanan said. “We have to wait for the Department of Education to give specific guidance about how that forgiveness is going to be applied.”