Bonamici: Education Department Turns Back on Struggling Student Loan Borrowers

WASHINGTON, DC [03/17/17] – Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) released the following statement after the Department of Education rescinded guidance that prohibited imposing collection fees on borrowers who take action quickly to repay their defaulted loans:

“Those who are struggling to pay their students loans can face lifelong consequences that will affect their ability to rent an apartment or buy a car if they go into default. We must create more opportunities to prevent individuals from defaulting and strengthen current policies already in place. I am deeply disappointed that the Department of Education has turned its back on student loan borrowers who have taken steps to promptly repay their defaulted loans.

“Earlier guidance protected borrowers in rehabilitation agreements from a 16-percent collection fee on defaulted loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan Program. By rescinding that guidance, the Department is taking assistance from students who need it the most. In its notice of withdrawal, the Department stated that the issues raised in the guidance would have benefited from public comment. I agree. The Department should undertake a public notice and comment period immediately to better understand the consequences of this policy.

“Despite this setback, I will not stop fighting for policies that support and protect student loan borrowers.”

Earlier this week, Bonamici and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) asked the Department of Education to stand up for struggling student loan borrowers by keeping in place commonsense limits on the fees charged to those who have defaulted on their loans.

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