RICHMOND – After Attorney General Mark R. Herring and a bipartisan group of attorneys general requested automatic student loan forgiveness for totally and permanently disabled veterans, President Donald Trump today issued a presidential directive requiring the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to work to swiftly discharge the student loan debt of these veterans.
It is estimated that fewer than 9,000 of the more than 42,000 eligible veterans had their loans forgiven under the old process.
“We requested this relief because it’s what these veterans deserve,” said Attorney General Herring. “These veterans and their families should be able to focus on healing and caring for themselves, not jumping through bureaucratic red tape. Wiping away their student loans is the least we can do for this special group of veterans who have given us so much. I’m really glad to see this step forward, and we’ll be monitoring the implementation process to ensure the administration delivers on this promise.”
In May, Attorney General Herring and a bipartisan coalition of 52 attorneys general urged the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to automatically forgive the student loans of veterans who became totally and permanently disabled in connection with their military service, and to immediately halt debt collection on disabled student veterans. It has been estimated that 25,000 totally and permanently disabled veterans had actually defaulted on their loans instead of receiving the debt forgiveness they were entitled to.
The automatic forgiveness supported by the attorneys general also has the support of veterans groups including Vietnam Veterans for America, Veterans Education Success, The Retired Enlisted Association, High Ground Advocacy, and Ivy League Veterans Council.