When ITT Technical Institute filed for bankruptcy in 2016, students across the nation — including in Illinois — were left with worthless degrees and thousands of dollars in debt, state officials say.
Those students are expected to get some relief after the Illinois attorney general’s office — and attorneys general across the nation — announced a $168 million settlement with ITT’s private student loan lender, Student CU Connect CUSO LLC.
“The settlement holds CUSO accountable for its role in taking advantage of students who did not understand repayment terms or the long-term damage that would be done to their credit, which even outlasted the school students attended,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in a statement.
About 500 students in Illinois are expected to share about $4.5 million in debt relief, according to Raoul’s office. ITT had campuses in Arlington Heights, Oak Brook, Orland Park and Springfield.
Under the terms of the settlement, CUSO agrees to “discharge all outstanding student loans and forgo efforts to collect amounts borrowers still owe,” according to the attorney general’s office.
ITT pressured students to take out loans through CUSO by first persuading them to accept temporary credit they would be unable to repay, the attorney general’s office said.
“Many students accepted the credit believing that, like a federal loan, repayment would not become due until six months after graduation,” according to the attorney general’s office. “When students were unable to to meet the repayment deadline, ITT Tech coerced them into accepting high-interest loans through CUSO.”
Student borrowers may call the Illinois Attorney General’s Student Loan helpline at 1-800-455-2456.