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AFR Statement: The Department of Education has the Authority to Cancel Federal Student Loans. It should.

Today’s proposal that administrative authority be used to cancel student debt, and the affirmation of the legality of such a step by the Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard Law School are important positive possibilities for student borrowers and their families and communities. AFR has long called on the Department of Education to use its existing legal authority to cancel the federal debts of wronged students of for-profit colleges without individual application – as have former Corinthian students, advocates, lawmakers, and law enforcement officials.

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Letter to Congress: AFR endorses package of student borrower protection bills

Americans for Financial Reform wrote to Congress to express our support for The Student Borrower Protection Act, The Fair Student Loan Debt Collection Practices Act, and The Private Loan Disability Discharge Act. The student loan protections, transparency measures, and servicing reforms included in these bills are urgently needed so that borrowers are treated more fairly, basic standards are clearer, and borrowers facing challenging circumstances have every opportunity to succeed.

a student with books - Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

AFR, 56 Orgs support S.J. Res 56 to disapprove DeVos Borrower Defense rule

AFR joined 65 other organizations to write in support of S.J.Res. 56 and H.J.Res.76 to undo Education Secretary DeVos’ 2019 Borrower Defense to Repayment rule. The DeVos rule gutted the Obama Administration’s 2016 rule that added further protections to students who are entitled to debt cancellation after their schools broke the law. An analysis of the Department’s own calculations estimates that only 3 percent of the loans that result from school misconduct would be cancelled under the new rule. Schools would be held accountable for reimbursing taxpayers for just 1 percent of these loans.

a student holding a black backpack standing in front of a brick wall -Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

News Release: The Students Not Profits Act will protect public dollars from abuses at for-profit colleges

Americans for Financial Reform welcomes the introduction of The Students Not Profits Act, let by Representative Pramila Jayapal, and Senators Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren. The for-profit college industry is plagued with bad outcomes for students, has a record of law breaking and abuse, and is responsible for 34% of student loan defaults, despite only enrolling 9% of post-secondary students. The Students Not Profits Act is a welcome and bold step to ensure that public dollars are not supporting and enabling malfeasance.

students in graduation cap and gowns - Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Joint Letter: 42 Orgs Urge Senator Alexander to Protect Consumers and Taxpayers

On October 9th, AFR joined with 41 organizations representing in a letter to Senator Lamar Alexander expressing concerns regarding his recently introduced bill, the Student Aid Improvement Act. Unfortunately, the bill fails to include any provisions that hold low-quality and sometimes predatory colleges accountable, and better protect students and taxpayers. Any reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) must include robust consumer protections.