WASHINGTON — If you’re a service member or veteran who took out student loans, make sure to check the mail because you might have some money coming your way.
As part of a settlement over inflated interest rates, Sallie Mae is sending out nearly 80,000 checks, which were mailed Friday, worth $60 million, according to a statement from Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. Compensation will range from $10 to more than $100,000, with the average check being about $771. The size of the check depends on how long and by how much the interest rate exceeded 6 percent.
The settlement came after the federal government filed suit against Navient Corp., formerly part of Sallie Mae, for violating the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which caps student loan interest rates for servicemembers at 6 percent. The lawsuit claimed that violations went back to 2005.
The settlement includes Navient’s full range of student loans, including private loans, direct Department of Education loans, and loans that originated under the Federal Family Education Loan Program, according to a Department of Justice news release. In addition to sending compensation checks, Navient agreed to pay a $55,000 fine and request the three major credit bureaus delete negative credit history entries connected to the overcharges.
Servicemembers and veterans who have questions about their eligibility for compensation can call (855) 382-6421.