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News >  Education

Education Department mishandled loan service investigation, inspector general says

The Education Department announced Tuesday that they mishandled a review of whether active-duty service members were being illegally charged high interest rates. Sen. Patty Murray, of Washington, was one of three democratic senators who requested the investigation.

The Education Department’s Inspector General criticized the department’s review of student loan servicers’ compliance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which caps student loan interest rates at 6 percent for active-duty service members. The review came after the Justice Department fined Navient Solutions, a loan provider, $60 million in 2014.

Then-Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the department reviewed other loan providers and found no wrongdoing. Murray asked for an investigation following an announcement in May that loan servicers complied with the SCRA provisions.

“One servicemember cheated on their student loans is one too many,” Murray said in a news release. “I will continue to hold the Department accountable for protecting military borrowers and ensuring proper oversight of the federal student loan program so these violations never happen again.”

The inspector general’s report found that the 2014 review was methodologically flawed and that the department disseminated inaccurate information about the review.

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