PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring joined a bipartisan coalition of 51 Attorneys General in urging the U.S. Department of Education to automatically forgive the student loans of veterans who became totally and permanently disabled in connection with their military service.
The Department of Education has identified more than 42,000 veterans who are eligible for this student loan forgiveness, yet fewer than 9,000
of them have applied.
“And that’s why we’re calling on Secretary DeVos to put a process in place to do it automatically, and that can be done, they should be able to do
it,” said Herring.
In a letter to Secretary DeVos, Herring and 50 other attorneys general said the current requirements to apply for loan forgiveness might be too
much for some veterans with severe disabilities.
These veterans owe a combined total of more than $1 billion. That’s nearly $24,000 each, on average. The letter did not suggest how the automatic loan forgiveness process might work, but Herring said the Department of Defense should have a list of those who qualify.
“This is something they can come up with, and these brave men
and women should not have to deal with a lot of bureaucratic red tape.”
The letter also proposes that the Department of Education should stop debt collection efforts targeting disabled veterans, and clear their credit
reports of any negative reporting related to their student loans.
While no time frame was requested by the attorneys general, Herring says it should be done as soon as possible.