It just got easier for defrauded student-loan borrowers to apply for debt cancellation

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  • The Education Department launched a new website to help defrauded student-loan borrowers apply for debt relief.

  • It provides details on what exactly borrowers need to include in their claims, and what makes them eligible.

  • While this website may ease the application process, many defrauded borrowers continue to wait for relief.

If student-loan borrowers believe they were defrauded by a school they attended, it may have just gotten easier for them to get relief.

Last week, President Joe Biden's Education Department launched a new website to help student-loan borrowers submit borrower defense to repayment claims — a type of claim for those who believe a school misled them or engaged in certain misconduct that was in violation of the law. Approval of those claims means the department will discharge any debt the student took out to attend the school in question.

The new website is intended to ease that application process. It includes information on reasons borrowers apply for borrower defense, what type of misconduct qualifies for debt relief, specific details on information borrowers should include in their claims, and what happens after a borrower applies.

"The new borrower defense webpage is filled with guiding language and tips to help borrowers successfully complete their applications and get the loan relief to which they are entitled," Richard Cordray, director of the Federal Student Aid office, said in a statement to CNN, which first reported the website's launch.

"For all those who lost time, money, and the promise of an education, we will continue to work to make them whole," Cordray said.

Federal Student Aid's borrower defense website
A section of Federal Student Aid's new borrower defense website detailing information to include in a claim.Federal Student Aid

The website said borrowers can "submit the strongest borrower defense application possible" by providing as much detail as possible, and addressing all required elements of a claim. That includes proving the school engaged in substantial misrepresentation of its programs; if there has been a prior judgment against the school that found it violated the la; or if the school breached a contract.

Since Biden took office, his Education Department has taken a number of steps to get relief to defrauded borrowers who had been waiting on approval of their claims for years.

Under former President Donald Trump's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, borrower defense claims had a 99.4% denial rate and ran up a significant backlog, leading Biden's Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to streamline the approval process. He has since carried out the largest group approval of borrower defense claims to date by wiping out $5.8 billion in student debt last year for 560,000 borrowers defrauded by major for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges — and later did a similar group discharge of $3.9 billion for former ITT Technical Institute students.

Still, some borrowers continue to remain in limbo for this relief. Insider previously spoke to Kevin, a student-loan borrower who was a part of the Corinthian group discharge. Cardona told those borrowers their debt would be "immediately forgiven," but six months later, Kevin — who requested his last name be withheld for privacy — was still waiting, and he said the uncertainty is frustrating because his debt remains on his credit report.

"In my world, immediately means immediately," Kevin said on November 18 of the June announcement. "It's been 168 days until they sent that email, and then that email says it will take some time. So if we take the definition of 'immediately' to 'some time,' and if 'immediately' was 168 days, what is 'some time?'"

Read the original article on Business Insider