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Payments coming from $60 million student loan company settlement

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Service members with student loans may soon receive settlement checks in the mail as the result of a Department of Justice lawsuit.  Checks were mailed beginning June 12 to nearly 78,000 service members affected by a settlement the Department of Justice reached with Navient (formerly Sallie Mae) for $60 million. 

Navient was accused of violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).  SCRA protects service members from being charged more than six percent interest on their student loans.  Navient failed to cap the interest rate on service members' student loans since as far back as 2005, according to the lawsuit.

The $60 million settlement will be used to reimburse service members who have overpaid on their student loans due to overly high interest rates.  If a service member's credit has been damaged by the interest rate overcharges and improper default judgments, Navient is required to contact the three major credit bureaus and have those negative entries removed.

Another result of the lawsuit is that procedures have been put in place to automatically identify service members who are eligible for the interest rate cap under SCRA, rather than the service members having to contact Navient.

If you have student loans from as far back as 2005 and have since joined the military, you may be entitled to monetary relief from the settlement.  Service members with questions about their eligibility should call (855) 382-6421. Contact the 21st SW legal office if you believe your SCRA rights have been violated at 556-4871.

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