Science

9 million Americans were wrongly told their student loans were wiped out

Nearly 9 million Americans with student loans who applied for the Biden administration’s student-loan relief program received emails in error last month saying their applications had been approved.

The messages were part of an update issued by the Department for Education in November Notify Millions of Debt Relief Applicants that he was allowed to forgive up to $20,000. In fact, some recipients were not approved for the relief as the process was stalled due to legal challenges, according to officials. And others who had not yet applied for the Student Loan Relief Program also received the email.

The error was made by Accenture Federal Services, a contractor for the Department of Education, which sent the emails on November 22 and 23. The mistake could only add to confusion among some borrowers about the debt-relief program, which is still in limbo following multiple legal challenges with the Supreme Court earlier this month. willing to listen One of the cases.

“improvement work”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch, “Communicating clear and accurate communications with borrowers is a top priority for the department.” “We are in close contact with Accenture Federal Services as they take corrective action to ensure accurate information about debt relief is available to all borrowers and those affected.”

The email subject line falsely informed 9 million recipients: “Your Student Loan Debt Relief Plan Has Been Approved.” However, the text of the letter was precise, letting those recipients know that the determination of their eligibility would continue “if and when we prevail in court”.

Corrected emails will be sent to those recipients over the next few days.

In a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, Accenture attributed the issue to “human error”.

“Accenture Federal Services apologizes for the human error that caused an email to be sent to many student loan debt relief applicants with the wrong subject line,” the firm said. “Working closely with the Department, Accenture Federal Services will review quality control measures to support accurate and timely communications to applicants in the student loan debt relief program.”

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