The leader of the AG’s Consumer Protection Division, Jessica Whitney, says they have been investigating the now bankrupt school for years. “We were concerned about this loan program for starters and some other just general concerns we had with for profit colleges. And so we had been looking into them — and once they went bankrupt we knew they had this outstanding loan program and outstanding debt for Iowans, and we just wanted to try and address that,” Whitney says.
She says loans that total more than $1,3 million will be forgiven. Whitney says they had concerns about how the credit union service organizations or CUSO handled the loans with students. She says they didn’t tell students about the cost of the loans and they believe the students didn’t realize they were taking out private loans with interest rates of 16 and 17 percent — and then they were graduating and not getting quite the jobs or salaries they were promised.
Whitney says the settlement helps ease some of the burden from the students. “Especially these super high interest private loans. We hope that it helps students because they were still seeking to collect these. We hope that it gives students some relief,” according to Whitney.
She says any former ITT Tech students with the loans will be notified. “Officials should be reaching out — and if students have questions — we have been working closely with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And students can contact them if they haven’t heard in say a month or so,” Whitney says.
The number students can call is: 855-411-2372. The settlement also requires the CUSO to supply credit reporting agencies with information to update credit information for affected borrowers. Iowa is one of 44 states involved in the settlement with 18-thousand-664 former ITT students nationwide who will get loan relief.