Students who attended a university based in El Paso, Texas can say goodbye to their student loan debt. The private student loans of over 7,000 former Vista College students were purchased and wiped out by the Rolling Jubilee Fund.
The nonprofit social welfare organization canceled $16 million in private student loans. The fund is a sister project to the Debt Collective, a union of debtors with roots in the Occupy Wall Street movement leading the fight to cancel debt and change the way social services and public goods are delivered.
The organization shared the news of his donation on Twitter.
“We purchased $16 million in private student loans owed by over 7,500 students who went to Vista College – and canceled them. They are now gone. We erased them. #CancelStudentDebt,” The Debt Collective tweeted.
“Like all for-profit colleges, Vista College lied to and took advantage of students – primarily low-income veterans and black/brown people,” added the organization in a follow-up tweet. “Any federal student debt still owed by these students should be forgiven, and we are fighting to make that happen.”
Vista College was on a list of schools the Federal Trade Commission warned of allegedly making false promises to students about job opportunities and potential earnings after graduation. Violators found guilty of these offenses face heavy financial penalties.
“For too long, unscrupulous for-profit schools have attacked students with impunity, without any punishment when they defraud their students and put them into debt,” FTC Chairwoman Lina M. Khan said in a statement. of 2021. “The FTC is resurrecting a dormant authority to deter wrongdoing and hold accountable bad actors who abuse students and taxpayers.
The school closed abruptly at the beginning of last October and then declared bankruptcy, leaving students without transcripts or refunds. The students began joining a class action lawsuit against the institution later that month.
The Debt Collective says Vista College may have targeted low-income people and people of color to profit from lifelong debt. As a result, the union plans to file a class-wide Borrower’s Defense against the Refund Demand on behalf of the Students.
In May, the fund canceled debts of $1.7 million in unpaid student balances owed by 462 people who attended Bennett College in North Carolina. A spokesperson for the organization told USA Today that it chose Bennett, a small, historically black private liberal arts college for women, because black women on average have student loan balances higher than any other group.
Canceled debts only include money directly owed to the school, not federal loans.
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