The Department of Education has unveiled a new website aimed at helping individuals who are seeking debt relief after being defrauded by a college, but critics of the administration’s efforts say the changes are mostly cosmetic, according to a published report.
The new website can be accessed by clicking here.
For example, the site estimates how much interest an applicant would accrue on his or her student loans while they are in forbearance, along with identifying how much would be owed if the borrower’s application were to be denied, which critics claim could keep people from applying in the first place. As well, individuals who have loans that are Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans and/or Federal Perkins Loan Program are not eligible to have them forgiven or discharged under the borrower defense program.
Earlier this year, Congress passed bipartisan legislation attempting to undo changes made by Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, that required individuals who were defrauded by for-profit colleges and universities to prove they were financially harmed in order to have their student loans forgiven. That legislation was vetoed by President Trump.
The timing of the release of the new website was noted as “curious” in the published report, noting that the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last month released documents they claim illustrate how the Department of Education sought to push back on changes to the site that would make it more user friendly. Those documents contradicted denials from the Department of Education that there were no efforts to “delay or obstruct” the development of a new borrower defense website.