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New program to simplify debt forgiveness for disabled vets

American Flag (Unsplash/Lucas Sankey)

Tens of thousands of disabled veterans should receive a letter letting them know that they are eligible to have their student loan debt forgiven over the next few months, federal officials said in a statement earlier this month.

Totally and permanently disabled veterans have been able to have student debt wiped clean for years. However, in 2016 the Department of Education and the Social Security Administration found 387,000 federal student loan borrowers who were eligible to have their debt forgiven, totaling $7.7 billion. They also found out that half of those borrowers were in default on those loans.

“Simplifying the loan forgiveness process and proactively identifying veterans with federal student loans who may be eligible for a discharge is a small but critical way we can show our gratitude for veterans’ service,” U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement.

Beginning this month, the Department of Education will search their database of borrowers who have federal student loans or aid from the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant program. They’ll match the data with the VA database, then send a letter and a disability form to those veterans identified.

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