Lawsuits instigated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the tune of more than $500 million dollars in student debt were launched in the effort to assist those who have been victims of Everest College’s predatory lending practices. An education with Everest has meant that students are left holding the bag for as much as $75,000 for a bachelor’s degree which has proven to be a useless piece of paper.
Everest has been accused of hiring graduating students for only one day in order to bulk up its job success numbers and mislead students into applying for their programs through fudged job placement rates. As the cost of this education exceeds that which is covered by federal loans, students enrolled in the program are given loans by Everest at significantly higher interest rates. Not only are the rates unreasonable, the practices used for collection are questionable at best.
Instead of students beginning to pay their loans at the end of the program, students involved in this scam were abused, coerced, or harassed to begin payment not long after the first day of classes. As if giving questionable loans to cash-poor students wasn’t enough on its own, students struggling to come up with payments while participating in the program were often removed from classes or locked out of programs.
The Department of Education on Everest has meant that the school has been attempting to rid itself of over 100 of its institutions through attempted sale in both Canada and the US. Canadian government has taken the step of refusing to provide student loans for Everest education and, in turn, Everest closed its campuses and filed for Canadian bankruptcy protection. In the US, however, Everest schools are still open for business as their website indicates it is accepting applications for new students. This means that even to this day, those struggling to educate themselves for further economic stability are left vulnerable to this scam.
Online reviews and a Facebook group named Everest College Scam Lawsuit have an large number of stories from current and former Everest students who have, or still are, suffering from this predatory company. The group itself is attempting to gain strength through numbers in case lawsuits or to lobby the US government to have the debts forgiven. Whether or not these efforts will prove successful is another thing altogether and students are still left struggling under high interest student debt, are in default, and are unable to secure employment with their certificates and diplomas.
If you have questions or comments, please chat in the comments below or on the ChallengeStudentDebt Twitter handle.
If you feel you were defrauded by the school you attended or you are being treated poorly as a distressed borrower by your creditors, take the free challenge debt review to find out what options you have regarding your student loans.