June 3, 2019
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel late last month joined 51 other attorneys general in a letter to the Secretary of Education urging the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to automatically forgive federal student loans of veterans who have become totally and permanently disabled as a result of their service.
The letter calls on the DOE to develop a process to automatically forgive federal student loans of all eligible veterans. While the automatic forgiveness process is in development, the attorneys general propose the DOE should halt debt collection efforts targeting disabled veterans and clear their credit reports of any negative reporting related to their student loans.
“Permanently disabled veterans face substantial challenges every day. After risking their lives for this country, it’s our duty to support them in every way we can,” said Nessel. “Ensuring the burden of federal student debt is automatically lifted off their shoulders is the least we can do.”
Currently the DOE requires eligible veterans to apply for federal student loan forgiveness, but under federal law they’re guaranteed such forgiveness regardless. Implementing an automatic process would eliminate unnecessary paperwork and ensure that all eligible disabled veterans’ federal student loans are forgiven.
The letter supporting automatic student loan forgiveness for totally and permanently disabled veterans received support from enough attorneys general to become formal policy of the National Association of Attorneys General. This designation is reserved for letters and comments supported by at least 36 attorneys general.
Nessel joins attorneys general of Alaska, Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.