It’s no secret that scammers exist throughout the world of higher education. Unsurprisingly, these scammers often target Black Americans.
Research from the Student Borrower Protection center found that for-profit schools (often hotbeds of education scams) are twice as likely to set up in majority Black and Latino communities.
But a new initiative from the Biden administration could help folks who’ve been “misled” into taking on student debt.
The U.S. Department of Education launched a new website to help borrowers get rid of student loans if the “school misled you or engaged in other misconduct.”
Technically, borrowers have long been able to apply for student loan repayments in cases where they’ve been misled. But the process was more complicated.
Under this new initiative, you can apply directly for federal forgiveness on the student aid website. If your claim is successful, the U.S. government will eliminate your outstanding federal student loans and reimburse you for any payments you’ve already made. It’s worth noting that this program only applies to people holding federal student loans.
In order to win your case, you have to prove that a school misleading or lying to you was central in your decision to enroll. For example, if you chose a school because the school promised you that you would be making $200,000 a year after graduation and you’re making $20,000, you could have a claim.
The website provides more details on what types of claims qualify as being misled. But making the process more accessible to borrowers could greatly benefit Black Americans who hold a disproportionate amount of student debt and are more likely to be victimized by education scams.
As millions of borrowers wait to see what will happen in the courts with federal student debt forgiveness, this new initiative might be worth checking out.