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NASFAA

Fraud/Universal Borrower Defense

Any borrower who has attended any school may qualify to have some or all of their federal student loans forgiven if they believe their school has misled them or engaged in other misconduct in violation of certain laws. This applies regardless of whether the school has closed or remains open. Claims of this type are commonly referred to as “borrower defense to repayment.” Federal student loans that may be forgiven include Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Direct Parent or Graduate PLUS Loans, Federal Direct Consolidation Loans, Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), and Federal Perkins Loans. Learn more about the factors that may make you ineligible for an approved borrower defense claim here.

Submitting a Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment Application

If you feel you are a victim of fraud, and you would like to apply for student loan forgiveness based on borrower defense, you may submit a Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment application in one of the following ways:

1) Electronic Submission: Complete and electronically submit the Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment application form found here.

You will be required to upload an electronic version of your signature. You may upload a picture file of your signature by using a smartphone or digital camera. You can also electronically upload additional supporting documentation found below with your application (for example, scanned PDF documents). Please prepare your electronic documents before you start the electronic application process.

2) Email Submission: Print and complete a non-fillable HTML version of the Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment application form found here and email it.

Once you have printed, completed, and signed your application, send your completed form to the U.S. Department of Education by email to FSAOperations@ed.gov. If you submit your PDF application by email, you are required to upload an electronic version of your signature. You may upload a picture file of your signature by using a smartphone or digital camera. You can also submit any additional supporting documentation found below with your emailed application (for example, by attaching a scanned PDF document).

3) Standard Mail Submission: Print and complete a non-fillable HTML version of the Borrower Defense to Loan Repayment application form found here and mail it. BREAK Once you have printed, completed, and signed the application, you can send it by standard mail to:

U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 429060
San Francisco, CA 94142

You can also submit any additional supporting documentation found below with your mailed application.

Please Note: Students who attended Corinthian Colleges should use the following forms instead:

Examples of Documentation to Submit

If you choose to submit documentation with your borrower defense application, the following are examples that may be helpful to your claim:

  • Documentation that confirms the school for which you are applying for borrower defense, program of study, and dates of enrollment (transcripts, enrollment/registration documents)
  • Promotional materials from your school
  • Emails between you and your school officials
  • Your school’s manual or course catalog

Forbearance and Stopped Collections Status

  • Within your application, you may select to have your federal student loans placed into forbearance or “stopped collections” status while your application is being reviewed by the U.S. Department of Education. If you choose to have your loans placed into forbearance or stopped collections status, shortly after the Department of Education receives your claim, your loans will be placed in forbearance, and collections will cease on any of your loans that are in default while your claim is evaluated.
  • Please note that interest will continue to accumulate on federal student loans (including subsidized loans—unless you are currently enrolled at a school) regardless of what status they are in. If your application for borrower defense is denied or partially approved, when you are taken out of forbearance or stopped collections, the interest that accumulated on the non-forgiven loans will be added to your loan balance, and the total amount you owe in the future may be higher.

Tips for checking the status of your borrower defense application

  • If you have already submitted your application and have questions on the status of your request, please contact FSAOperations@ed.gov.
  • As per the Office of Federal Student Aid website, once the review of your claim is complete, the U.S. Department of Education and/or your federal student loan servicer(s) will contact you to inform you of whether your claim was successful or denied.
  • It is possible that submitting multiple forms may delay the processing of your form. If you have already submitted a claim, you do not need to file another one.
  • Processing times may vary.
  • There is no deadline to apply for borrower defense to repayment and there is no preferred method to submit an application (electronic, email, or standard mail).
  • For additional information about borrower defense to repayment, you may visit the Office of Federal Student Aid’s Borrower Defense to Repayment webpage.