Durbin Report: Addressing the National Student Loan Debt Crisis

Senator Durbin's eNewsletter
2015-03-16 17:35:54
Fellow Illinoisans: Last week, President Obama sent a clear message to students and families across the country who are struggling with unsurmountable amounts of debt from student loans. By launching the Student Aid Borrower Bill of Rights, the Administration is reasserting its commitment to student borrowers by providing additional protections to people who took out both federal and private student loans. Also, it will simplify how students interact with student loan servicers. I share in the President’s commitment to this issue, which borrows from a bill I introduced in 2013. It incorporates many improvements from my Student Loan Borrower’s Bill of Rights, such as better notifications to students when their loans are transferred from one servicer to another, standard application of loan payments, and timely resolution of complaints and errors. Find out more about what the Student Aid Borrower Bill of Rights will mean for you by clicking here.
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Fellow Illinoisans:

Last week, President Obama sent a clear message to students and families across the country who are struggling with unsurmountable amounts of debt from student loans. By launching the Student Aid Borrower Bill of Rights, the Administration is reasserting its commitment to student borrowers by providing additional protections to people who took out both federal and private student loans. Also, it will simplify how students interact with student loan servicers.

I share in the President’s commitment to this issue, which borrows from a bill I introduced in 2013. It incorporates many improvements from my Student Loan Borrower’s Bill of Rights, such as better notifications to students when their loans are transferred from one servicer to another, standard application of loan payments, and timely resolution of complaints and errors.

Find out more about what the Student Aid Borrower Bill of Rights will mean for you by clicking here.

There is much more work to do if we as a country want to address our national student debt crisis. The President’s action doesn’t excuse Congress from taking the next step. We can act now to help the nearly 40 million Americans holding some $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. One common sense reform Congress should consider is restoring bankruptcy protections to private student borrowers. This week, I introduced a bill that would restore those protections.

Did you know that student loans are nondischargeable during bankruptcy? They stick with you for an entire lifetime. My Fairness for Struggling Students Act aims to restore fairness in student lending by treating privately issued student loans in bankruptcy the same as other types of private debt. This bill would go a long way in making it easier for millions of working families to manage the student loan debt they already have. This is just one step Congress can take this year, and my colleagues and I plan to introduce more bills that would address growing student loan debt.

I’ve met too many dedicated students and hard-working families who deserve better. No one should be saddled with debt just because they chose to do the right thing by pursuing a college education. If Congress doesn’t follow the President’s lead and act soon, we risk burdening a generation of students with debt. By doing so, we jeopardize their future contributions to our nation and economy.

Higher education has truly been a difference maker, not just in my life, but for millions of Americans who studied hard in college so they could achieve their goals, start a career, and provide for their families. It’s time to act on the student loan debt crisis. Let’s uphold the American belief that if you work hard and get an education, who you will be rewarded.

Sincerely,

Dick Durbin
United States Senator

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Sent from the office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin