Skip to main content
Sweet settlement

If you have student loans, you probably already know about the US Department of Education’s (ED’s) borrower defense loan forgiveness program. But did you know about a lawsuit and proposed settlement in the case of Sweet v. Cardona that could mean thousands more people with borrower defense claims will be able to get their eligible federal loans forgiven? Read on to learn more and see how to avoid scammers looking to cash in.

The details are still coming together, but here’s what to know right now:

  • If your borrower defense application was pending as of June 22, 2022, there’s nothing else you need to do. Students who attended certain schools will have their loans discharged, along with other benefits. Otherwise, decisions will be made on a rolling basis depending on when you submitted your application. Check ED’s website for more details.
  • If you haven’t applied for borrower defense (but think you should) – do it now. There are benefits to getting your borrower defense application in before the final approval of the settlement (which hasn’t been announced yet — but should  be soon). Check out what types of claims may qualify for borrower defense.

Some of the names on the list of schools included in the Sweet settlement may look familiar — and they should. The FTC has also sued the University of Phoenix, DeVry, and the operators of American InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University for their allegedly deceptive practices. Students who took out loans to attend those schools got more than $300 million in payments and debt cancellation through these FTC actions. If you got a check from one of these settlements: You’re still eligible to get your federal loans forgiven through the borrower defense program, so file your application.

This settlement is not a scam. It’s real. And it’s free to apply. Remember:

  • Don’t pay anybody for anything related to your borrower defense claim. Nobody can move you up in line, give you special access, or guarantee a successful application. Not for free, and certainly not for money. And only scammers will ask. And if you spot a scam, tell the FTC:
Search Terms

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

Charlotte Bohannon
September 16, 2022

I get calls about student loans nearly every day. I am 76 years old, never had a student loan & never signed with anyone else to get one. I have told them numerous times I don't have a student loan. They say they will take my name off; but they call right back the next day. I am sure it is a scam.

Joshua Palmisano
May 03, 2023

I was in rolled at ctu towards the end of the semester after they got all there money from my student loans I got sick and missed a few days and they kicked me out I had all As in every class but they still owed me money from my loans that I still never got