If you are a former student of Southern Technical College, you might qualify for student loan forgiveness via the Borrower Defense To Repayment program. This could provide substantial assistance for individuals still struggling with student loan debt.
In this article, we will cover the Borrower Defense To Repayment and other options for student loan forgiveness.
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Southern Technical College Lawsuit & The Recent Borrower Defense to Repayment Settlement
In a significant win for students who were deceived by their schools, the U.S. Supreme Court recently gave the green light for the Department of Education to forgive $6 billion in student loans. This decision is an important turning point, stemming from a class-action lawsuit and set to impact thousands of borrowers nationwide.
Over 150 schools are implicated in this settlement. Most are for-profit institutions that have been accused of misleading their students. Among them, Lincoln Educational Services Corp., Southern Technical College, and Everglades College Inc. stand out. These schools took their grievances to the Supreme Court, arguing that they were denied due process and that the settlement unfairly tarnished their reputation.
How Did We Get Here?
The road to this settlement was far from smooth. The Department of Education found itself swamped with loan forgiveness requests from students starting around 2015. These students claimed their schools had misled them, leading to a huge pile-up of applications. To speed things along, a group of borrowers filed a class-action lawsuit against the Department in 2019. After years of twists and turns in the courtroom, the parties finally settled in June 2022.
What Does This Mean for Borrowers?
This settlement is a big deal for borrowers who have been wronged. It applies to those who filed a borrower defense, and attended one of the 151 schools named in the settlement.
These eligible borrowers are now in line for significant relief. They’ll see their debts erased, receive refunds, and may even have their applications reviewed more quickly as part of the settlement. Even those who were denied in the past should now qualify. The Department of Education expects to have all eligible debts cancelled by January 28, 2024.
While all this is happening, it’s important not to confuse this settlement with the Biden administration’s separate initiative to cancel up to $400 billion in student debt. The Supreme Court is currently considering this proposal.
Supporters of the settlement have praised the Supreme Court’s decision. Eileen Connor, president and director of a project advocating for students who have been preyed upon by schools, cheered the court’s “swift and decisive action,” hoping it will put an end to any ongoing debates about the settlement’s legitimacy.
All in all, this settlement is a major victory for borrowers who were deceived and a significant step towards holding educational institutions accountable.
Southern Technical College Loan Forgiveness Options
After facing legal troubles, Southern Technical College graduates may be eligible for loan forgiveness programs to alleviate the burden of their student loan debt.
Some of the programs that graduates may qualify for include:
1. Borrower Defense to Repayment: This program offers loan forgiveness to students who have been defrauded by their college or university. Graduates who can prove that Southern Technical College misled them about job placement rates, accreditation, or other important aspects of their education may be eligible for full or partial forgiveness of their federal student loans. For example, if a student was promised a certain job placement rate upon graduation, but the actual rate was significantly lower, they might qualify for this program.
2. Closed School Discharge: If a Southern Technical College campus was closed while a student was enrolled or shortly after they withdrew, the student may be eligible for a full discharge of their federal student loans. This program is specifically for students who were unable to complete their education due to the closure and were not offered a teach-out plan or a comparable program at another institution.
3. Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Forgiveness: Southern Technical College graduates experiencing financial hardship may qualify for an IDR plan. Under these plans, monthly loan payments are based on the borrower’s income and family size, and after 20-25 years of qualifying payments, the remaining loan balance may be forgiven. For example, if a graduate is struggling to find a well-paying job in their field and meets the eligibility requirements, they could enroll in an IDR plan and potentially have their remaining loan balance forgiven after the repayment period.
4. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): Graduates working in qualifying public service jobs, such as government or non-profit organizations, may be eligible for PSLF. After making 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan, the remaining loan balance may be forgiven. For instance, a Southern Technical College graduate working for a non-profit healthcare organization and making consistent, on-time payments under an IDR plan could qualify for PSLF after 10 years of service.
5. TPD Discharge (Total & Permanent Disability Discharge): Graduates who are unable to work due to a total and permanent disability may be eligible for a Total and Permanent Disability Discharge. This program provides forgiveness for federal student loans if the borrower can provide documentation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration, or a physician certifying their disability. For example, a Southern Technical College graduate who becomes permanently disabled and is no longer able to maintain employment in their field could qualify for TPD discharge.
6. Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF): TEPSLF is an extension of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and offers loan forgiveness for borrowers who were initially denied PSLF due to being enrolled in a non-qualifying repayment plan. Graduates must still meet the PSLF requirements, such as working in a qualifying public service job and making 120 qualifying monthly payments. If a Southern Technical College graduate applied for PSLF but was denied because they were on a non-qualifying repayment plan, they may be eligible for TEPSLF after switching to a qualifying repayment plan and fulfilling the requirements.
By considering these additional loan forgiveness options, Southern Technical College graduates can further explore potential avenues for alleviating their student loan debt and achieving financial stability.
Southern Technical College – Other Student Loan Repayment Options
For Southern Technical College graduates who have private student loans or have defaulted on their loans, there are additional repayment options that can help alleviate the burden of student loan debt.
Some of these strategies include:
1. Loan Consolidation: Consolidating multiple loans into a single loan can simplify the repayment process and potentially lower the overall interest rate. While federal loan consolidation is only available for federal loans, some private lenders offer consolidation options for private loans. Be cautious when consolidating federal loans with private loans, as this will result in the loss of federal loan benefits.
2. Loan Rehabilitation: Borrowers who have defaulted on their federal student loans may qualify for federal student loan rehabilitation. This process involves making nine voluntary, reasonable, and affordable monthly payments within 20 days of the due date for ten consecutive months. Successful loan rehabilitation can remove the default status from the borrower’s credit history and restore eligibility for federal loan benefits, such as income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs.
3. Private Loan Refinancing: Graduates with private student loans may consider refinancing to obtain a lower interest rate or better repayment terms. Refinancing involves taking out a new loan to pay off the existing loan, and borrowers with good credit scores and stable incomes are more likely to secure favorable terms. Keep in mind that refinancing federal loans into a private loan will result in the loss of federal loan benefits, such as income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs.
Find Professional Help
Feeling overwhelmed by all this information? It’s perfectly normal. Student loan debt, lawsuits, and the intricacies of loan forgiveness programs can be a tough maze to navigate on your own.
Getting in touch with a student loan advisor can make a difference. They have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process, helping you understand your options and potentially saving you from financial distress.
Reach out to a student loan advisor today, and take the first step towards regaining control over your financial future.