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Being Heard: Student Loan Discharge for School Misconduct

So, you've launched an investigation against your school/workplace. But, you're wondering if there is maybe some other way to rub some salt into your organization's wounds. As it so happens, there is! Got federal student loans? Can you tie those federal student loans back to your time with your super toxic supervisor/principal investigator? Well, you might just be in luck. The federal government's financial aid website has a resource available to borrowers that can allow you to submit a claim for discharge. As it so happens, I am about to do this myself, so I will let you know how this goes.

So, how do you access this resource? Let's start by directing you to the student loan discharge information page. Once there, you can read more about whether you're qualified to submit a claim and take further action against your school. Basically, you can qualify for student loan discharge (complete or partial forgiveness of your student loan) if you have any of the qualifying conditions:

  1. Permanent and complete disability (a disability that makes you unable to work)

  2. Permanently and completely disabled veteran of the US armed forces

  3. 10 years of civil service (i.e. working for the federal government)

  4. Your school has defrauded you (also known as borrower defense to repayment)

  5. You've worked as a teacher for 5 or more years.

  6. Death.

  7. Your school falsely certified you to receiving a loan.

  8. Unpaid refund discharge.

  9. If your loan is a Parent PLUS loan, and your parent is either permanently disabled or dies.

You can obtain more information on any of these particular loan forgiveness options by looking at the link below:

In most cases, the most likely scenario to the reader if they have filed a complaint with the OFCCP or the EEOC is going to be a the Borrower Defense to Repayment Option. The main website for this resource is as follows:

You have two options to complete this application. You can either mail in the document, or you can complete the form online. In most cases, the online application is the easiest, however, there is some additional information in the printed mail-in document that you might find useful, so I'll provide the link here for your convenience:

If you look at this document, you may be discouraged by some of the disqualifiers for eligibility. I would encourage you to apply anyway, especially considering that the process only takes about 30 total minutes to complete, and due to President Joe Biden's recent overhaul of the student loan forgiveness program, your chances of getting approved are much greater than they have been.

If you have any additional questions regarding your Borrower Defense application, you can feel free to call this phone number:


For your information, however, some non-qualifying examples are included:

  1. Dissatisfaction with the school's program or classes.

  2. Disappointment with the school's housing or facilities.

  3. A student's inability to live in their dormitory of choice.

  4. A student's inability to enroll in the program of their choice.

  5. Informal comments made by other students who are or in the past were enrolled at the school.

  6. General findings of a school's non-compliance with certain U.S. Department of Education's rules for administering Federal Aid.

  7. Violations of local, state, or federal laws unrelated to the making of a Federal student loan.

  8. Personal injury.

  9. Loss of property.

  10. Sexual harassment.

  11. Academic disputes.

  12. Disciplinary matters.

Notice for example that "personal injury" is a non-qualifying factor. This is not necessarily true. If you've been injured to the point that you are permanently disabled, then you qualify as previously discussed under permanent and complete disability. My point is, try and apply, and see what happens. You might be genuinely surprised. I will, however, say this with the caveat, that you should by no means take this program for granted, and wrap your whole life around this dependency.

Break the shackles of student indebtedness!

The Borrower Defense to Repayment option is a very lengthy process, which, from start to finish can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to have a final determination reached upon complete submission of your application. As a matter of fact, you might want to add a calendar reminder 6 months out, from the time you've completed your application, so that you remember to follow up with the Borrower Defense program.

That said, what will you need to provide to complete your application? As you may guess, there is a lot of the standard information you will need to include, such as your name, date of birth, social security number, FSA identification number, and some other things. However, you will also need to provide (as applicable):

  1. Your school's information.

  2. Any other refunds, discharges, remedies, etc., you are currently subjected to..

  3. A personal statement explaining why you think you qualify for borrower defense discharge.

  4. Misrepresentation of credit transfer.

  5. Misrepresentation of program cost.

  6. Urgency of enrollment.

  7. Misrepresentation of employment prospects.

  8. Misrepresentation of career services.

  9. Misrepresentation of student aids.

  10. Any investigations or successful judgments.

  11. Any breaches of contract.

  12. Any financial harm you've suffered because of this misrepresentation.

  13. Anything else you can think of that might be relevant.

Also, be advised that if you complete your application and it turns out you need to submit additional documents later, you can include these documents at a later time by sending an e-mail to the following address:

Please do be aware that you will need a case number for any additional documents to be considered for your case.

That said, please do not hesitate to complete the form as soon as you are aware that your program is being investigated. The sooner you initiate the paperwork, the sooner the bureaucratic gears can start cranking and you can hopefully expect some good news. As always, please let me know if this was helpful to anyone, or if any further clarification is needed. Good luck!

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