HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Relief is on the way for former ITT Tech students harmed by abusive lending practices.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and 43 other Attorneys General have reached a settlement to provide more than $168 million in debt relief to more than 18,000 former students nationwide.  In Pennsylvania, 570 former ITT Tech students are eligible for $5.3 million in debt relief.

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According to the settlement, Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC will be held  accountable for its participation with now-defunct ITT Tech in subjecting students to deceptive and abusive lending practices.  ITT Tech filed for bankruptcy in 2016.

“With the private student loan program that ITT and CUSO established, ITT Tech was able to take advantage of thousands of hardworking students who were simply trying to complete their education,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “ITT aggressively pressured students to take predatory loan options and deceived them about the conditions of their loans. As a result, hundreds of Pennsylvania students were burdened with student loan debt and struggled to find jobs. As Attorney General, I will hold accountable any student loan company or for-profit college that preys on the students they are technically supposed to help. I’m grateful for the hard work of my Bureau of Consumer Protection and my colleague Attorneys General to secure relief for these students and prevent CUSO from taking advantage of anyone else.”

It’s alleged that ITT, with CUSO’s knowledge, offered students Temporary Credit(TC) upon enrollment to cover the gap in tuition between federal student aid and the full cost of the education. Students were supposed to pay the TC before the next academic year, but most weren’t able to do so.

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When the TC became due, ITT allegedly pressured and coerced students into accepting high interest loans from CUSO, resulting in a high default rate.

Under the terms of the settlement, CUSO has agreed that it will forego collection of the outstanding loans.

Borrowers will receive notices about the cancelled debt, while automatic payments will also be cancelled.  Under the agreement, CUSO will also update borrower’s credit information with credit bureaus.

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Students with additional questions about their rights under this settlement can contact the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555 or at scams@attorneygeneral.gov.