Members of the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teachers union in the United States, announced on Wednesday a lawsuit against student loan servicer Navient, alleging the company deceived borrowers and prevented them from accessing debt relief.
"Navient has purposely and systematically trapped teachers, nurses and other public service workers under a mountain of student debt instead of providing them with accurate information about their loan options," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
The lawsuit centers on Navient's handling of the public service loan forgiveness program, which allows certain not-for-profit and government employees to have their federal student loans canceled after 10 years of on-time payments. The nine plaintiffs are composed of teachers, professors and other public servants, and the lawsuit seeks to become a class action.
The union members allege that Navient, one of the largest administrators of federal student loans, failed to inform borrowers of public service loan forgiveness, misled people into believing they were on track for the forgiveness, and even steered potentially eligible borrowers away from the consumer protection. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Navient did not immediately respond to a request for comment.