It’s a dicey move because students who default can lose their paychecks, tax refunds or even a portion of their Social Security. Not paying back debt can also ruin someone’s credit, making it difficult to buy a house or car, or to get a job.
But organizers say most of the strikers are already in default. Anyone willing to join the movement must attend a financial literacy workshop on the consequences of not repaying their debt, according to the organizers.
An attorney working with the Collective is helping the strikers file what’s known as a defense to repayment claim, an appeal to the Education Department to discharge the federal loans on the grounds that the for-profit school broke the law. Organizers posted the claim form on their Web site last week and had received 300 applications from Corinthian students as of Monday morning, according to Luke Herrine, a Debt Collective organizer.
The department has broad authority to cancel federal student loans when colleges violate students’ rights and state law.