For Corinthian Colleges Students: What You Need to Know about Debt Relief

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Education announced new steps to protect students from abusive for-profit colleges, as well as a new debt relief process for students at Corinthian Colleges – which operated schools under the names Everest, Heald, and Wyotech.

Information for borrowers is available at the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website, at our new toll-free number for Corinthian students at (855) 279-6207, and from your loan servicer.

Background on what happened at Corinthian 

Corinthian Colleges, Inc. has been the target of consumer and taxpayer protection enforcement efforts by the federal government and other authorities. The Department of Education investigated and found that between 2010 and 2014, Heald College misrepresented the job placement rates of many of its programs. Investigations by other entities are ongoing. Over the past year, Corinthian sold off many of its schools, and the remaining campuses closed shortly before Corinthian went bankrupt.

We’re committed to making the debt relief process as simple, streamlined, and fair as possible. That’s why we’re taking several steps to help borrowers, including appointing a “special master” to help us create a straightforward process for debt relief and implement steps to reduce the burden on borrowers. 

Options for Debt Relief

Our Department is committed to helping students affected by the closure of these schools, or who believe they were victims of fraud by their school. Today, we announced next steps to support students who attended Corinthian schools. Here are answers to some common questions about debt relief, depending on your situation.

I attended a Corinthian school that closed

On April 27, Corinthian College closed its 30 remaining locations (see the list of those closed schools). Students who attended any of these closed schools any time after June 20, 2014 have two options:

  1. Apply for a closed school loan discharge
  2. Transfer earned credit to another institution to continue his or her education in a comparable program. (Students who select this option may still qualify for defense to repayment of previous loans – more information can be found below.)

A closed school discharge means that 100 percent of the federal student loans you took out to attend the school that closed may be forgiven, including a reimbursement of amounts you already paid back. You can find instructions and a form for seeking closed school debt relief here, or by contacting your loan servicer.

A closed school loan discharge may be an option for you if:

  • You did not finish your program at a Corinthian school
  • You did not already transfer your Corinthian credits to another school in a similar program (for instance, if you were taking a criminal justice program and you transferred to another criminal justice program, that would be similar)
  • You were attending the school when it closed, or withdrew no later than June 20, 2014. A closed school discharge normally only applies to students who withdrew (without completing their program) within 120 days of the school’s closing date, or were attending when the school closed. But for Corinthian students, the Secretary of Education has extended the timeframe to include any Corinthian student who withdrew from one of its closed schools on or after June 20, 2014

Please note that if you choose closed-school debt relief, you can’t transfer your credits to a comparable program at another institution.

Visit studentaid.gov for more information on closed-school loan discharge.

What if I want to transfer my credits?

If you transfer your credits to a similar program at another institution, you cannot request closed-school debt relief. However, if you believe you have a claim against your school under state law, such as fraud, you may still pursue debt relief based on borrower defense to repayment, as described below – even if you transfer your credits to another school

What if I need help? 

Visit the contact us page on the FSA website, or use any of the options listed above. Or, for further help, the Department is working with an independent group of organizations and institutions that are setting up a volunteer advising corps to help Corinthian students navigate the different options. Contact them to talk to a volunteer counselor. (Note that as the Department is not managing this initiative, it cannot endorse any advice that a student may receive.)

I believe I was a victim of fraud or another violation of state law at a Corinthian school (whether that school closed or not)

If you were a student at a Corinthian School—Everest, Heald, or Wyotech—and you believe you were a victim of fraud or other violations of state law by the school, you can make a claim for debt relief under a legal rule called “borrower defense to repayment.” This rule applies to all public, private and for-profit schools across the country, and requires students to show that they have a legal claim against their college.

If you were a student at a Corinthian school and you apply, or intend to apply, for borrower defense, you have the option to place your federal loans into forbearance (a special permission to stop payments) while your claim is being resolved, to ensure you do not fall behind on your loan. For students in default, you may request a stop to collection activity. However, interest will continue to accrue during the forbearance or stopped collections period. You may also decide to opt out of forbearance or stopped collections.

Visit studentaid.gov/Corinthian for more information on filing a borrower defense claim and on putting your loans into forbearance

For Certain Heald College Students

The Department has carried out an investigation and determined that Corinthian misrepresented job placement rates for a majority of programs at its Heald College campuses between 2010 and 2014. In an effort to simplify and speed up the process of applying for loan forgiveness, the Department has established that if you relied on those incorrect placement rates, you may be entitled to a discharge of their Federal Direct Student loans you took out to attend those programs through a streamlined process. That process can be done by filling out a straightforward attestation form. In addition, you may request to have your federal loans placed into forbearance or, for defaulted loans, to have collections stopped while your claim is reviewed.

Visit studentaid.gov/Corinthian for more information about how the Heald College findings may affect you.

Additional Information:

If you are a Corinthian student seeking debt relief of any type and didn’t get your question answered, please visit the FSA website or call our toll-free number, (855) 279-6207, and a staff member will provide the information you need.

48 Comments

  1. After my daughters school had closed I was informed that I would be notified regarding of receiving claim forms for repayment of a loan that I had paid on and I still have not received any information on how to go about filing a claim for repayment and who do I contact to request claim forms for loan repayments if anyone knows how to go about getting any information regarding claim forms for loan repayment I would appreciate it if you can email me at /kurtzerika@yahoo.com

  2. I enrolled into Everest College in 2009 and graduated in 2010 from their Medical Assistant program and was fortunate enough to find a job, however I’m concern about my diploma not being credited due to the fact that Everest College was declared bankrupt and its closed permanently. Can someone please help me to find out if my diploma is still valid? If not what can I do?

  3. I attended Corinthian/Everest University on line from 2007 to 2013 and received my Associates in Medical Insurance Billing and Coding and my Bachelors in Business Administration. I have already made arrangements with the Federal Department of Education for the loans that I received from them. But I would like to know if I can do anything about the private loans that I received from Everest for the remainder of my last semesters. Any information you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  4. I graduated from Everest University in 2012 with an Associates in Homeland Security. I started Everest courses back in 2008 while I still in the army and I learned later that they lied about their accreditation and no legitimate school accepted the credits. They also lied about the type of positions that I could have gotten into because when I was getting assistants to get a job position they only assist in getting me a minimum wage job and never helped afterwards. I have tried getting a packet for the defense of repayment a month ago but my loan borrow (connection with department of education) has not sent it to me yet. I also notice it seems that you need a law degree to understand the process of getting the defense of repayment because the site says that it depends on the state law of your location. How am I suppose to find out the laws if I qualify if I been to multiple states? I hope the department clarifies this information and makes it easier for students to apply for the defense of repayment.

  5. Hello,
    I graduated from ATI Career Training Center in Dallas, TX in December 2009. Even though I graduated with honors, I have not been able to find a job. I’ve recently found out that there was a False Claims Act filed against them by the Department of Justice because of fraudulent actions. ATI ended up settling with the DOJ by agreeing to close its doors and pay the Department of Education $3.7 million. I know that Corinthian students are getting their loans forgiven due to their school’s crimes. Does anyone know if ATI students are able to request loan forgiveness as well?

  6. My debt forgiveness lies in a hazy area, as I did get a certificate (in paralegal studies) from a then-operating Heald campus in Hayward. I believe I might be able to recover for the year 2010.
    In a detailed letter to the California Secretary of State, I outlined the failures both to me and the educatable in general.
    Never mind that the program was not ABA-approved, and that it lost 2 good coordinators while I attended. I entered at age 59, and noticeably gray. Not one staff or faculty member said age juust might inhibit my real chances of employment. Rather, success was pushed constantly but real-world preparation, in my case, was absent.

  7. Hello
    I attend a Heald College from 2010/2013 too. Unfortunately, I have a hard time to find job and pay off loan. As many of us have the same problems. Could you tell me what should I do to bailout part of loan. Thank you.

  8. I went to everest college phoenix in 2012 for their medical assisstant program. Upon graduation due to family problems I had to move. I never got my certificate or anything. Got a phone call later from them saying I owed money because the price of my books changed and I still can’t find a job. Would I be able to benefit from this or am I stuck?

  9. Hi, I attended Heald college from April 2010-Jan 2014, my loans were paid of to the bank (my dad got a loan from his work to pay off but we still owe the money to company he works for) I would like to know if there is any way I can get that money back it was about 30k and it is now July 2015 I have not found a job in my field and the money still needs to be paid back… I need some help please!

  10. I graduated 2 heald college programs. Medical Assisting and Medical office administration. It has been almost 5 years since graduation and I have applied to too many places to keep track of and never found a job in the medical field.

  11. I was just wondering how come some students are receiving 100% forgiveness and others only a fraction of their debt forgiven? Like me for example, I have to pay for a certain amount for so many months then whatever balance is left will be forgiven. I haven’t been able to find a job in the market due to my disability once employers hears of it they dont bother to hire of me even though they are impressed by my resume. It does not seem fair to me. I meet the criteria for the total forgiveness, unless I missed something. Can someone explain! Please.

  12. I attended several schools over 5 years using student loans. I graduated from Liberty University in 2011. Due to a severs financial crisis and a daughter entering college, I accumulated over $77K in student loans (mine).
    With all the forbearances and deferments, I have accumulated an enormous amount of interest which was added to the principal. Will someone give me some advice. I am 60 years old. I contacted HR but this federal agency does not repay student loans. I want to retire in 3 years, but my student loan will be 1/3 of my salary.
    With all that this country do with bailing out, I think education should be virtually free.

  13. How soon will the department contact me after I have mail all the documents necessary, or how would I even know they have received it? Os it it better to send everything via email. Thank you for the support.

  14. My son attended Wyotech (one of the Corinthian College schools) in Long Beach, CA. He has not been able to get a job in the field. We took PLUS (Parent Student Loan) and our son also took at student loan. We have been told that Dept of Education is in the process of developing a plan/procedure so that students who completed the course of study prior to school closure (Aug 2014 in his case) will be able to secure forgiveness of the student loan. What is the status of this procedure and will we (student & parent) be able to get a student loan “forgiveness”? We have tried to transfer the courses into the California Community College system and they have stated that they will NOT take any classes from Wyotech.

  15. hello, I went to Everest college and it has been an year since I graduated. I have been looking for a job as a medical assistant and still cant find one. Now I have to be paying off two loans. Can I get some type of debt relief or loan forgiveness?

  16. Hi! Went to Heald and didn’t finished but I paid off my loan for the first semester for almost 5k. Am I qualify for reimbursement? It was 2011. Thanks

  17. Hi. I attended Lincoln Technical Institute in 2009. I was pressured into signing up, by the admissions rep! Here I am, 6 years later, was never able to get a job in the course that I took (Medical Assistant). And now I’m stuck with a student loan, that I can’t afford to repay! I don’t know how many more forbearance I can ask for! I feel like I was scammed into applying to this school!

  18. Hi! Any updates about the Art Institutes?
    Understand they are also being investigated.
    Any information, any direction would be so helpful! Housing alone was over 1000.00 per month per student for a 1 bedroom. Are only option was to divide the living room up for the other student. Any other victims who took their animation courses??
    Thanks for your time!

  19. I was going to the Heald college here in Salinas ca how can I apply for the forgiven hope to hear form you soon

    Thank you!

  20. I graduated in 2009 from Everest University (Largo, FL campus) with a degree in Accounting. I never was able to find a job in that field until I found a job doing seasonal tax returns for Liberty Tax in Florida.
    I had been using forbearance’s and deferments for 4 years until 2014 when I finally was able to start paying back my loans. During the time not paying my loans, I accumulated $5000 worth of interest on these loans, and that money was added back to the principle. I now owe more money than my degree ever cost. Do I have any options for these loans now ?

    • Michael — You may be eligible for partial or full Borrower Defense loan discharge of your Direct Loans if the school you attended did things, or failed to do things, that would amount to fraud, or otherwise justify a legal action against the school under applicable state law. This process is called defense to repayment, and the law requires borrowers to submit a claim. Please visit http://www.studentaid.gov/corinthian for more details.

      Cameron

  21. I am an alumni of Everest and when I graduated I was never helped with finding a job. The books we had to buy, we only used once. And I heard sallie Mae in trouble too. What can I do? I’m getting my income 15% withheld and my taxes. Can I get some help.

    • Ramon–You may be eligible for partial or full Borrower Defense loan discharge of your Direct Loans if the school you attended did things, or failed to do things, that would amount to fraud, or otherwise justify a legal action against the school under applicable state law. This process is called defense to repayment, and the law requires borrowers to submit a claim. Please visit http://www.studentaid.gov/corinthian for more details.

      Cameron Brenchley
      Office of Communication and Outreach

  22. Me and my husband wen to Everest in 2006 I Believe and are still paying the loan my husband actually is less then 100.00 to paying it off but they have been taking are taxes for about 4 yrs. I am still paying im paying a company ECMC 5.00 a month for 12 months. What can me and my husband do? Can we get our money back?

    • Evely–You may be eligible for partial or full Borrower Defense loan discharge of your Direct Loans if the school you attended did things, or failed to do things, that would amount to fraud, or otherwise justify a legal action against the school under applicable state law. This process is called defense to repayment, and the law requires borrowers to submit a claim. Please visit http://www.studentaid.gov/corinthian for more details.

      Cameron Brenchley
      Office of Communication and Outreach

  23. What about the students whose parents “paid in full” so that they had no debt ? And, sadly, no job to this day?

  24. I went to Everest University Online and completed my degree in 2011, would I be eligible for forgiveness?.

    • Chris–You may be eligible for partial or full Borrower Defense loan discharge of your Direct Loans if the school you attended did things, or failed to do things, that would amount to fraud, or otherwise justify a legal action against the school under applicable state law. This process is called defense to repayment, and the law requires borrowers to submit a claim. Please visit http://www.studentaid.gov/corinthian for more details.

  25. I would recommend that an investigation be conducted into job placement records for Wyotech colleges as well. I have been told that Wyotech would get students hired through a temp agency for a week or two only to be fired, which would artificially inflate job placement records. This kind of activity to me seems entirely fraudulent, and if it is not illegal it certainly should be.

  26. I’m a single mom and I went back to college because I wanted a better future for my kids and myself. It is very sad how Heald took advantage of so many people including me. I did graduate but I still haven’t found a job.

  27. Does this apply to Heald Students that graduated in 2009 from Northern California locations?

    • Tahnee — You may be eligible for partial or full Borrower Defense loan discharge of your Direct Loans if the school you attended did things, or failed to do things, that would amount to fraud, or otherwise justify a legal action against the school under applicable state law. This process is called defense to repayment, and the law requires borrowers to submit a claim. Please visit http://www.studentaid.gov/corinthian for more details.

      Cameron Brenchley
      Office of Communication and Outreach

  28. I’m a Heald alumni from 2007. I completed the IT program at the now-closed Heald College Honolulu campus. Would I be able to get my loan forgiven or would I need to repay my loan?

  29. What about these CEC/Sanford-Brown schools? Not only was I told that my credits earned there were transferable (which they aren’t accepted at any public schools) but the job placement was a joke! They tried to place me at an “internship” at Urban Outfitters working with a bunch of people that had no education. I’m sorry but I went to school for Fashion Design…not to work retail. Luckily I found an internship on my own with a Costumer. I’m terribly embarrassed that I was fooled into going to this school. It’s embarrassing to even put it on my resume. Now I’m attending a junior college so I can work up enough credits to transfer to a university for an actual reputable degree, all the while insane amounts of interest are accruing on my loans ($97,000 total for a worthless degree). Any help or advice would be welcomed!

    • Yes! I went to Brown College, (Sanford-Brown) a CEC school in Mendota Heights, MN for Interior Design. Could not even get a job at a furniture store! They offered no help with job placement, didn’t even acquire the accreditation for our degree they promised. Now the school is closed, no promised ‘retraining.’ Half my full-time income every month goes to student loans… I’m stuck, can’t climb ladders, can’t afford daycare for my 1 yr old daughter. Currently trying to work with a law firm in Minneapolis with fellow students!

  30. i am willing to go for debt relief. I graduated in 2009 and never found a job as a medical assistant. Even if that means giving up my diploma. I worked so hard for it but it has been so long I’m going to have to take more courses.

  31. Seriously… how much is this going to cost the taxpayers? I don’t mind helping out, but do we have an estimate on much this will cost?

    The students messed up by not doing their due diligence, and I’m not wild about paying for their mistakes.

    Go after the Corinthian officers, give the students no interest on their student loans, but do not bail them out at our expense.

    Thank you.

    • Seriously Brian – Its ok to bail out a solar panel maker with hundreds of millions of dollars without going through the process everyone else would have to go through though right? I’m right up there with you on bailing outs & making those responsible pay especially the top executives & taking every ill gotten penny of theirs, but the fact of the matter is still that just because you or I aren’t affected by this doesn’t it mean it can be over looked. Sure the DofE needs to actually monitor schools regularly not just wait til they implode but that’s how the government runs. Seriously though if this happened to your school whatever school if any that might have been you would be among those calling for relief and complainting about people like you now, who feel it’s unfair to tax payers to be on the hook so quit whining. We’ve bailout things for less reason then this.

  32. Obviously, the Department of Ed needs to do their work a little better before letting $3.6B go out the door to an institution that had anything but a positive reputation. You know how far $3.6B would go to help kids go to a real college? Even a local community college… How we continue to fund these scams with tax payer dollars is beyond me. If this happens with Apollo or DeVry?

    • Same way we continue to fund the bailouts of Wall Street & solar panel makers & other so called reusable energy companies who happen to be large donors to certain presidential & congressional members. There’s more cause for bailouts like this then unlimited welfare or unemployment. If a bank went under I wouldn’t want to bailout them out but that’s what the purpose is of FDIC.

    • Hello,
      I am a graduate of Wyotech in Daytona, Fl. I completed the coursework and graduated from their program June of 2014. I am wondering if I am still eligible for help or the forgiveness program. Any info and direction will help. Thank you.

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