IF YOU WERE DECEIVED BY A SCHOOL, WE CAN HELP
Help is available. You are not alone!
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
- VA's Education Call Center: 1-888-442-4551
- Free lawyers & advice: Click here or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Report deceptions or unfair treatment to the Department of Veterans Affairs (or to the Defense Department if you used Tuition Assistance or MyCAA). You can also call the VA Office of the Inspector General hotline at 1-800-488-8244.
- Report bad behavior by colleges (and student loan companies) to the Department of Education.
- Private loan from a bank or from your school? Alert the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Your state Attorney General might help. Look on the internet for your state's "attorney general consumer complaint" form.
- 21 states have money available to reimburse students in certain situations. Click here for more info.
- College closed? Free counseling at www.NextStepsEd.Org. You are also eligible to get your Pell Grants reinstated: Call the U.S. Ed Dept (days, nights, wknds) at 1-800-4FED-AID.
Free lawyers at: Help@VeteransEducationSuccess.Org
"I am so thankful for Veterans Education Success. They have done more for me in 4 months than anyone has done for me in 4 years. People telling me there is nothing that could be done and I will just have to pay off the student loan. I am blessed to know I have a wonderful organization that will stand by my side and fight until the end." - Jonathan Ngowaki, Marine Veteran
"Every time I called, VES answered. They stayed on top of my case and helped me get the VA to stop garnishing my wages and go after my school. They always updated me and made sure I had the tools to get what I needed." - Ernesto Cruz, Army Veteran
You can get your loans forgiven or reduced if you are:
- Totally disabled;
- Working in a Public Interest job (including military, government, and non-profit);
- Working as a Teacher; or
- Not making enough money to pay your loans. The Education Department has 4 terrific programs to lower your monthly payments! Most students don't know about it! Apply here.
You can also apply to get your federal student loans forgiven (and even get reimbursed for loans you already paid) if your school:
- Took out loans in your name without your permission or signed your name without your knowledge (application form is here);
- Defrauded or deceived you (online application form is here);
- Closed (and you were enrolled within 120 days of its closure) (application form is here); or
- Wrongly enrolled you in a program you couldn’t benefit from (such as if you lacked a GED) (application form is here).
Please beware of scams. Apply only through the U.S. Education Department.
Tips for Student Loan Borrowers here
Active duty? You have rights!
- No loan - private or federal - can charge you more than 6% interest rate while you're on active duty, and 0% interest rate if you're serving in a hostile area. Learn more here and here.
- You're entitled to postpone your loan payments while you're on active duty. Learn more here and here.
- You're entitled to be excused from having to file routine paperwork with the Education Department while on active duty. Learn more here.
- The Defense Department will repay some loans in some situations. Ask your designated Military Personnel Officer for help finding out.
College Search Tools
- "College Scorecard" by the U.S. Education Department (allows comparison of colleges and searches by the program you want or region of the country; includes earnings after graduation and average debt load)
- "GI Bill College Comparison Tool" by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (great tool for veterans with data on every college eligible for the GI Bill).
- "TA DECIDE" by the U.S. Department of Defense (great tool to pick a college to use active duty Tuition Assistance)
- Community College Finder
- Is your school financially unstable? Check the Education Department's list of troubled schools (click here).
Scholarships for Student Veterans
Free college tuition money exists through many scholarships for student veterans, such as:
- Pat Tillman Foundation Scholars (click here)
- Wells Fargo's Veterans Scholarship (click here)
- Sentinels of Freedom Scholarships for severely wounded (click here)
- Thanks USA Scholarship (click here)
- List of scholarships at Student Veterans of America (click here)
- List of scholarships at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (click here)
- List of scholarships at U.S. Department of Education (click here).
- Scholarships for military children (click here and also here)
- Scholarships for military spouses (click here and also here).
But be careful: Some "scholarships" offered by a college are only tricks to lure you into a "bad actor" college, with hidden fees. We can help you figure out which scholarships are for real.
“I specifically asked ITT Tech before signing up whether their degree was the same as any other public 4-year university and was told YES. I found out while applying at NYPD, LAPD, Seattle PD and 23 other police departments that NONE of them accepted ITT Tech credits. Once I found out that my time and money spent at ITT Tech was worthless, I tried to transfer my credits to a community college. I was told I have to start completely over as a freshman.”