The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says tens of thousands of students received the loans, though it's unclear how many will benefit from the forgiveness. More than 60 percent of Corinthian students with those loans defaulted within three years after being subject to interest rates that were roughly twice the rates for federal loans.

"These consumers were lured into high-cost loans destined to default and then targeted with aggressive debt collection tactics," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

He said the loan forgiveness should help current and former students.

Corinthian Colleges schools enrolled 5,873 Post-9/11 GI Bill students in fiscal 2013, totaling $61 million, according to federal data. That was enough to rank the company as the 21st most popular school system among those beneficiaries.