The Attorney General's Office is a national leader in investigating and enforcing consumer protection violations in the higher education field. Ours was the first state Attorney General's Office to file lawsuits against emerging student loan debt scams, leading the investigation into Sallie Mae (now Navient), and pursuing litigation against national for-profit colleges for fraudulent marketing practices.
The Attorney General's Office also created the Student Loan Helpline, 1-800-455-2456, to provide struggling student borrowers with free resources about repayment options and information on avoiding default. Individuals with hearing or speech disabilities can reach us by using the 7-1-1 relay service. Borrowers can also call to file consumer complaints regarding issues with the billing and servicing of their loans.
Recent Actions and Announcements on Behalf of Student Loan Borrowers
Lawsuit Against Navient for Mistreating Student Borrowers
The Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit against Navient, the country's largest student loan servicer and its predecessor, Sallie Mae, for mistreating student loan borrowers from start to finish - from originating student loans, to servicing those loans, to collecting on defaulted student loans.
The Attorney General's Office is seeking relief for students who may have been impacted by the companies' misconduct. More details on the lawsuit can be found in the Attorney General's press release and in the complaint.
Former Corinthian Colleges Students Eligible for Streamlined Loan Discharge
The Attorney General's Office, as part of an investigation into Corinthian Colleges, is reaching out to students who attended Corinthian programs that the U.S. Department of Education found were affected by fraud. Corinthian operated primarily as Everest in Illinois. Students who received outreach from the Attorney General's Office can find information on how to apply by calling the Attorney General's Student Loan Helpline, 1-800-455-2456, or by visiting the U.S. Department of Education's website. Individuals with hearing or speech disabilities can reach us by using the 7-1-1 relay service.
Avoid scams - it is free to apply. If you are asked to pay then it's likely a scam. Students who have already applied and have questions about responses from their student loan servicer, or the U.S. Department of Education, are encouraged to contact our Student Loan Helpline or to file a complaint with our office.
Smart Education Borrowing and Preparation
The Attorney General's Office also created the Student Loan Helpline, 1-800-455-2456, to provide struggling student borrowers with free resources about repayment options and information on avoiding default. Individuals with hearing or speech disabilities can reach us by using the 7-1-1 relay service.
Remember to consider these important factors when choosing a college or university:
Get step-by-step instructions on dealing with student loan debt. Find out how to determine your loan status and contact your loan servicers to review repayment options.
Avoiding and Reporting School Lending Scams
Student loan borrowers should be on the lookout for scammers posing as debt relief and debt consolidation companies that may attempt to steal personal information and money.
Attorney General Raoul encourages borrowers to exercise caution if they receive unsolicited phone calls, letters in the mail, emails, texts, or social media messages from entities offering student loan debt relief.
Borrowers who believe they have been scammed to take the following actions:
- Contact your loan servicer to revoke any power of attorney or third-party authorization agreement.
- Review recent actions with your loan servicer.
- Contact your bank or credit card company, and request that payments to the student loan debt relief company be stopped.
- Demand the student loan debt relief company entirely remove your personal information from its records.
- Report the company to the Attorney General's Office by calling the Attorney General's Student Loan Helpline at 1-800-455-2456. Individuals with hearing or speech disabilities can reach us by using the 7-1-1 relay service or emailing StudentLoans@ilag.gov.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
- Report suspicious activity through the Department of Education's Feedback Center.
- Log in and change your account password. Do not share your new account password with anyone.
- Take the steps recommended in Raoul's Identity Theft Resource Guide. Consumers can call the Illinois Attorney General's Identity Theft Hotline to talk to a specifically trained advocate who can help explain tips on how to protect against identity theft: 1-888-999-5630.
Student borrowers who have questions or are in need of assistance can call the Attorney General's Student Loan Helpline at 1-800-455-2456.
FOR LENDERS: Know Before You Owe
Signed into law on August 26, 2021, the Know Before You Owe Private Education Loan Act (“Know Before You Owe Act”), Public Act 102 0583, provides student loan borrowers with critical information about their eligibility for federal financial assistance before those borrowers take out a private education loan at an institution of higher education. Under the law, private lenders also have annual reporting requirements that are monitored by the Illinois Attorney General's Office.