How to Qualify for a University of Phoenix Student Loan Discharge or Refund
UPDATED Tuesday March 25th, 2020
Exciting news for UOP students! It is now not only possible but also relatively likely and quite easy to qualify for University of Phoenix loan forgiveness benefits through the Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Program.
Why is this the case? Well, the University of Phoenix has faced accusations of engaging in fraudulent marketing and business activities, including violating State and Federal laws. Essentially, they have been running a large-scale scam operation to extract money from individual Americans, the Federal Government, and even the Defense Department (through student loans given to military personnel).
This article will provide an explanation of how you can utilize the Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Program to take advantage of University of Phoenix student loan forgiveness benefits. This will enable you to eliminate your UOP student loan debt once and for all and potentially even receive a refund for any money you have already paid to UOP or their parent company, the Apollo Education Group.
Claim Your Share of $141 MILLION in Forgiveness Benefits
NEWS ALERT: On December 11th, 2019, a massive settlement was reached between the University of Phoenix and the Federal Trade Commission. As part of the settlement, UOP agreed to provide $141 million in student loan forgiveness benefits to former students who still have outstanding Federal student debt.
This lawsuit stems from long-standing accusations that UOP engaged in unfair and deceptive marketing practices, misleading students by creating the impression that the school worked with large national companies to provide excellent job opportunities. They also alleged that UOP designed its courses specifically to help students secure those jobs.
In reality, the Federal Trade Commission found that many UOP students faced poor job prospects, received little actual support from the school, and carried heavy student loan burdens. Furthermore, it was alleged that UOP deliberately targeted people of color and military veterans with their marketing campaigns, making the situation even more scandalous.
How To Apply for UOP Student Loan Forgiveness
According to the settlement terms, UOP has agreed to pay $191 million in penalties, with $141 million allocated for forgiving student loans of borrowers who enrolled in the school between October 1st, 2012 and December 31st, 2016. Keep in mind that only loans directly owed to the University of Phoenix are eligible for forgiveness under this particular round. However, under the Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Program, all Federal student loans are eligible for discharge.
If you have federal debt tied to UOP, you should review the Guide on Getting a BDAR Discharge or continue reading this article. There is a great chance that you can have your loans eliminated simply by filing under the rules of the Borrower’s Defense program.
But Before I Explain How Borrower’s Defense Works…
Here’s a quick word of advice – the Department of Education is currently overwhelmed with BDAR applications and their average response time is now multiple years. Waiting for their response may not be the most effective way to deal with your student debt. If you’re truly struggling, consider seeking help from a Student Loan Debt Relief Agency. These companies specialize in assisting with student loans and can provide the best guidance on how to regain control over your loans.
I’ve spent the past 10 years interviewing debt relief agencies and, in all honesty, I’ve only found two companies that I trust to offer genuine financial relief to people struggling with student loans. If you need help with FEDERAL Student Loans, call the Student Loan Relief Helpline at 1-888-906-3065. They will review your case, evaluate your options for switching repayment plans, consolidating your loans, or pursuing forgiveness benefits, and help you get rid of the debt quickly. If you need help with PRIVATE Student Loans, call McCarthy Law PLC at 1-877-317-0455. They will negotiate with your lender to settle your private loans for much less than you owe, and get you a new loan for the settled amount. Please note that McCarthy Law can ONLY assist with Private student loans. If you choose to call these companies and have a negative experience, please share your feedback in the Comments.
How Can I Use Borrower’s Defense to Discharge UOP Loans?
Through the Borrower’s Defense law, you can discharge student loans taken out to attend a school that committed fraud or violated state laws related to your loans or education services. In the case of the University of Phoenix, it is clear what you need to do. File a Borrower’s Defense Against Repayment Application stating that UOP defrauded you by convincing you to take out student loans based on false advertising of inflated graduation rates and job placement statistics.
In your application, you’ll be accusing the school of false advertising because you would not have attended UOP or borrowed the loans if you had known the true graduation and job placement rates. If your application is approved, your entire University of Phoenix loan will be forgiven, and you may even qualify for a refund of any money you have already paid to the school or their parent company, the Apollo Education Group.
How to Support Your Borrower’s Defense Claim
When filing your Borrower’s Defense claim, clearly state that you are requesting forgiveness benefits for your University of Phoenix loans because they were only taken out as a result of the school’s illegal activities. You need to explain that you would not have borrowed the money if the school had not lied to you or made false promises.
It’s crucial to provide a strong argument in your application, clearly explaining how the school defrauded you. If you fail to do so, your discharge request may be denied, and you will be required to continue making payments on your loan. Review the options below, select the one that best fits your situation, and use it as your argument for why you deserve a discharge.
What Did University of Phoenix Do Wrong?
The University of Phoenix is accused of several egregious offenses, which came to light through a Whistleblower lawsuit filed by an employee of UOP’s parent company, Apollo Education Group. These allegations were revealed in an SEC filing by Apollo Education Group, causing their stock to plummet.
One major offense committed by UOP is submitting false information about its student aid statistics to the Federal Government. This allowed the school to receive additional federal funding that it did not deserve. UOP circumvented the 90/10 Rule, a rule that requires a for-profit school to receive no more than 90% of its funding from the Federal Government, by engaging in illegal activities such as encouraging their own employees to enroll in UOP classes for free. This inflated UOP’s graduation and job placement rates.
Focus your Borrower’s Defense application on the false advertising related to the inflated graduation and job placement rates, as these are likely the factors that influenced your decision to attend UOP. While it’s important to be aware of the other allegations against the school, the false advertising is the strongest argument for receiving loan forgiveness.
Pay Close Attention to This Point!
One of the most compelling arguments you can make in your Borrower’s Defense application is that you would not have borrowed the money if you had known UOP’s true graduation and job placement rates. This argument is supported by evidence of UOP’s false advertising. Clearly explain in your application that you made the decision to attend UOP based on inaccurate information, and therefore, your loans should be discharged.
It’s crucial to make this argument crystal clear in your application, as Borrower’s Defense claims require legal proof. You must demonstrate that you would not have borrowed the loans had you known the school’s true statistics. Emphasize this point to increase your chances of a successful discharge.
Where Do I File My Borrower’s Defense Application?
The official and only place to file your Borrower’s Defense Application is on the US Government website: https://borrowerdischarge.ed.gov/FormWizard/BDU/BDULanding.aspx
Beware of any other websites, online forms, or phone numbers claiming to process Borrower’s Defense applications. These may be scams attempting to deceive you. The Federal Government has been working to crack down on Forgiveness Scams, but it’s essential to remain cautious and only seek help from official government channels.
When Will I Find Out If My Application Is Approved?
It is impossible to determine the exact timeframe for receiving approval on your Borrower’s Defense application. Some individuals have reported waiting over a year without any response. Additionally, the Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Program has become highly controversial, with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos attempting to shut it down.
Considering the uncertainty surrounding the program, it’s important to act quickly and submit your application as soon as possible. Even if the program is discontinued, submitting your application before it ends may allow you to be grandfathered into the program and remain eligible for discharge.
Can I Check the Status of My Application?
Unfortunately, there is currently no method for checking the status of your Borrower’s Defense application. There is no website, phone number, or email address for requesting updates. After submitting your application, you may not hear anything for months or even over a year. It’s essential to be patient and hope that you completed the paperwork correctly, as mistakes can result in denial of your application.
Can I Stop Paying My Loans After Submitting My Application?
No, under no circumstances should you stop making payments on your loans after submitting your Borrower’s Defense application. You must continue paying your loans until you receive official notification from the Department of Education stating that your loans have been forgiven and no further payments are required.
If you stop making payments before your loans have been discharged, you may jeopardize your eligibility for the Borrower’s Defense process and risk never having your debt forgiven. Ensure that you make full and on-time payments until you receive confirmation that payment is no longer necessary.
Will I Owe Taxes On My Forgiven Debt?
Unfortunately, yes. The one significant downside to the Borrower’s Defense process is that the forgiven debt is considered taxable income on your next IRS filing. This means that you will have to pay income taxes on the amount of debt that is discharged.
Prepare for this by visiting my page on Student Loan Forgiveness and Taxable Income for detailed information on how this process works.
How Bad Will Those Taxes Be?
It’s important to keep in mind that the taxes you owe will be due in one lump sum, rather than spread out over a period of several years as with student loans. This means that your affordable student loan payments could turn into an unaffordable IRS bill, potentially amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.
Given the potential impact of taxable income liabilities, I have created a new website called Forget Tax Debt dedicated to providing support for dealing with IRS tax debt. If you encounter any tax problems, visit my new site, where I cover various complex tax-related topics such as negotiating an IRS settlement, applying for the IRS Fresh Start Program, qualifying for IRS tax debt forgiveness, and avoiding IRS phone scams.
Background Information on University of Phoenix
While many are familiar with the University of Phoenix, few realize the true size of this institution. With 91 campuses and over 440,000 enrolled students, UOP is the second-largest college in the United States. However, its graduation rate is shockingly low, sitting at around 17.5%.
Over the past decade, millions of Americans have become ensnared by UOP’s powerful advertising campaigns, enrolling in their higher education programs and accumulating significant student loan debt. Fortunately, this is about to change due to a massive lawsuit filed against UOP’s parent company, Apollo Education Group.
The lawsuit, brought forth by a Whistleblower who is a former employee of UOP, alleges a broad range of illegal and immoral activities committed by the company. This includes false advertising, employee coercion, and even evidence tampering.
It is estimated that UOP’s illegal behavior has cost the U.S. Government billions of dollars each year. Therefore, there is no need to sympathize with UOP or the Apollo Education Group, as they have engaged in fraudulent behavior and deserve to face legal consequences if found guilty.
If you would like to delve into the details of UOP’s transgressions, visit their page on the forprofitu.org website.
Need Help With Federal Student Loans?
Even if you are unable to take advantage of the Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Program or the approved UOP forgiveness benefits, there are many existing programs that can provide assistance to individuals with Federal student debt.
For help with Federal Student Loans, check out my guides on Federal Student Loan Forgiveness, Federal Student Loan Bankruptcy, Federal Student Loan Consolidation, Federal Student Loan Delinquency & Default, the Federal Student Loan Rehabilitation Program, Federal Student Loan Wage Garnishment, Federal Student Loan Deferment, and Federal Student Loan Repayment Plans.
Need Help With Private Student Loans?
If you have private student loans, it is unfortunate that there are fewer assistance programs available compared to those for borrowers with Federal debt. However, some programs may still be able to help you.
To explore the benefits packages that may be applicable to your private student loans, read my articles on Help with Private Student Loans, including Private Student Loan Forgiveness Programs, Private Student Loan Consolidation, Private Student Loan Bankruptcy, and Private Student Loan Defaults.
If you have any other questions regarding student loans, please post them in the comments, and I will strive to provide a response within 24 hours.
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Old News Alerts
NEWS ALERT: On Thursday, December 13th, 2018, the Department of Education announced its plan to issue Borrower’s Defense to Repayment Discharges for up to $150,000,000 in disputed student loans. This move was in response to a Federal Judge’s ruling that Betsy DeVos needed to expedite the approval process for BDAR requests.
University of Phoenix loans are highly likely to be included in this wave of approvals. The Department of Education promised to email borrowers on Friday, December 14th, to notify them that their debts from the canceled loans would be eliminated within 30 to 90 days.
If you have already submitted a BDAR request, pay close attention to your email. If you have not yet submitted your application, act quickly to ensure you do not miss this opportunity!
Disclaimer: The information provided by Forget Student Loan Debt is for educational purposes only. It is recommended to consult a licensed financial professional before making any financial decisions. This website receives compensation through affiliate relationships but is not endorsed or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.