The American Federation of Teachers on Oct. 3 filed a class-action lawsuit against Navient, one of the country’s largest administrators of federal student loans, accusing the company of steering borrowers in public service professions away from debt relief to boost its own profits. The suit was brought by nine members of the AFT, including teachers.
“Navient has purposely and systematically trapped teachers, nurses and other public service workers under a mountain of student debt instead of providing them with accurate information about their loan options,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.
The lawsuit focuses on Navient’s handling of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which allows borrowers who work for 10 years in an eligible public service job and make 120 on-time loan payments to have their remaining federal student loans canceled.
The AFT alleges that Navient failed to inform borrowers of public service loan forgiveness, misled people into believing they were on track for debt forgiveness and even steered potentially eligible borrowers into repayment programs that do not qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which is administered by a different company.
About 32 million Americans are estimated to qualify for the program, yet only 900,000 are currently enrolled in it.