Student loan provider to repay $60 million to military vets

Student loan provider to repay $60 million to military vets
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) has secured $60 million in refunds for military veterans it contends were illegally charged too much interest on their student loans.

The student loan service provider formerly known as Sallie Mae, which has since changed its name to Navient Corp., will begin issuing the refunds next month to 77,795 veterans who were overcharged for their educations.

The refunds will range from checks of $10 to more than $100,000. The average veteran will receive about $770 back from Navient, the DOJ noted.

This is the first time the federal government has sued a student loan company for charging military veterans too much interest.

Navient agreed last year to settle DOJ charges that it violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) by not capping interest rates for certain loans to veterans at 6 percent.

The company will begin sending the refunds out next month.

Navient disputed the charges from DOJ and says it maintains a commitment to serving veterans.

“We demonstrate our appreciation for the service of our service member customers through streamlined access to benefits, information and assistance," Navient president and CEO Jack Remondi said in a statement. "Our dedicated team of experts provides one-on-one support to assist service members, many of whom are away from home without access to financial documents or computers. We appreciate that the regulators agreed on consistent guidance and an enhanced process, thereby enabling us to offer SCRA benefits to even more service members.”