To: President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate
Restore Basic Consumer Protections to Student Loans, Support the Student Borrowers' Bill of Rights!
We, the undersigned, call on Congress to pass H.R. 3892, The Student Borrowers' Bill of Rights. This bill represents a major step toward fairness for student loan borrowers. It includes a range of important upgrades to our system of financing higher education, including restoring basic consumer protections—such as bankruptcy protections and a statute of limitations for collection of student loan debt—as well as changes to give student borrowers greater purchasing power and greater peace of mind. The bill would boost our economy while strengthening the rights of citizens.
Why is this important?
Student debt is treated more harshly than any other type of debt in America. Unlike your mortgage, business, credit card or even gambling debts, student loan debt cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and there is no statute of limitations on the collections of student loan debt. As a result, more than 40 Million Americans are buried under approximately $1.2 Trillion worth of student debt and more than 7 Million of those people have defaulted on their student loans, causing major financial hardships from which there is almost no escape.
We believe that it is extremely important to level the playing field and start treating student loan debt just as any other type of unsecured debt in America. Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) has introduced H.R. 3892, The Student Borrowers' Bill of Rights, to right these wrongs.
The bill seeks to restore bankruptcy protections to student loans, restore the statute of limitations on the collections of student loan debt, prohibit the suspension of professional licenses for those who default, and prohibit the automatic garnishment of wages, Social Security benefits and tax refunds for defaulted borrowers.
The bill further seeks to treat loan forgiveness under various repayment options as non-taxable income, provide partial loan forgiveness for those in public service careers after five years, and enable borrowers to pay down their education debt using educational savings plans.
The legislation establishes four core rights— (1) to basic consumer protections, (2) to reasonable and flexible repayment options, (3) to meaningful earned degrees, and (4) to effective loan cancellation following the completion of public service—which, combined, will help guarantee a level playing field for America’s student borrowers.