Warning for prospective students as thousands in Hawaii still waiting for loan forgiveness

Heald College, Kapiolani Boulevard

Some Hawaii students expecting their student loans to be erased are still waiting for that to happen.

Hawaii is one of more than a dozen states asking the U.S. Department of Education to end what it calls delays in erasing federal student loans for about 27,000 former Corinthian Colleges students nationwide.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin and Office of Consumer Protection executive director Steve Levins recently sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

It asks her to end what they say are delays in erasing federal student loans, which the government agreed to do, to thousands of students of the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges.

“This is a very serious problem, because it’s not just trying to make sure that students can get a free ride. There was fraud that was committed against them because of the ways that they were recruited and brought into these for-profit schools,” said Chin.

Nationwide, about 27,000 students have been approved for loan forgiveness. More than 2,400 of them attended Heald College in Hawaii.

So far, the loans haven’t gone away, but DeVos says she will make good on erasing them.

Chin says this serves as a good reminder to watch out for red flags.

“Just sort of entitlements that would be dangled in front of (prospective students), telling them, ‘We’ll buy you a free dinner,’ or ‘We’ll give you some sort of great discount,’ that would allow you to be able to get a better job in the long run,” Chin said.

You’ll also want to check a school’s track record and research if it’s had prior complaints.

“What they don’t realize is that they get out of school and then employers aren’t actually respecting the education that they received, either because it wasn’t accredited, it just isn’t receiving the same amount of credit that other more reputable schools will be offering,” Chin said.

If you have a consumer concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call at 591-0222 weekdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. or send an email to actionline@khon2.com.

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