US forgives $1.1 billion in debt for former ITT Tech students

The Education Department on Thursday approved another $1.1 billion in loan-forgiveness requests from former ITT Technical Institute students who say they were swindled by the now-defunct chain of schools.

The loans of 115,000 former ITT students are being forgiven under a legal provision known as borrower defense to repayment, which allows the government to erase the debt of students who have proven they were defrauded by their schools.

The students didn’t complete their degrees or credentials and left ITT on or after March 31, 2008. The Department estimates that 43% the borrowers are now in default. Since President Biden took office, the Department has discharged $9.5 billion, affecting over 563,000 borrowers.

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“For years, ITT hid its true financial state from borrowers while luring many of them into taking out private loans with misleading and unaffordable terms that may have caused borrowers to leave school,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Today’s action continues the Department’s efforts to improve and use its targeted loan relief authorities to deliver meaningful help to student borrowers.”

ITT Tech shut down in 2016, after the government banned it from enrolling new students receiving federal aid. The chain offered degrees in fields including criminal justice, computer drafting and nursing

In June, the Education Department forgave $500 million in loans for 18,000 ITT students.

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The Biden administration has said it is considering more widespread loan forgiveness but hasn’t laid out plans. For now, it is pursuing more targeted relief efforts. Current and former college students collectively carry roughly $1.6 trillion in outstanding debt.

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