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. A group of thirteen Senators wrote a letter in 2014 calling on the Department to use its authority to discharge the debt of former students of the now-bankrupt Corinthian College, a chain of for-profit colleges with endemic fraud. This call was joined by Rep. Maxine Waters and the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the House. In 2015, AFR together with dozens of other organizations filed a petition to the Department of Education led by the National Consumer Law Center outlined the Department’s legal authority to compromise and modify student loans.
Strong majorities across political parties show concern about the level of student debt in the United States and oppose the Department of Education’s and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) recent actions to weaken protections for students, according to a new poll released by Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL).
AFR Ed Fund and thirty-three other organizations submitted the following comments in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on Debt Collection Practices (Regulation F).
This new data “confirms what advocates in the student borrower advocacy community have been saying for a long time: that student debt has hit crisis levels in the U.S.,” said Alexis Goldstein, senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform.
Tomorrow marks one hundred fifty days since Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger committed to quickly filling the nation’s top student loan watchdog position—a role that has been vacant for almost a year. As student debt nears $1.6 trillion and predatory practices plague the market, the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) and Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund (AFREF) are releasing a roundup of failures by the current CFPB Director to stand up for student loan borrowers.
“Income-share agreements are nothing more than student debt with a fancy name,” said Alexis Goldstein, Senior Policy Analyst at Americans for Financial Reform. “Financial investors hungry for yield are using ISAs to put student debt in an elaborate and confusing package, while forcing students to waive key rights and seeking to withhold the already too limited consumer protections federal student loans provide.”
Majorities of American voters across parties believe that the student debt burden – now at $1.5 trillion – represents a crisis for the country, according to a new poll. The survey also found widespread concern with efforts by Mick Mulvaney, the Trump official installed at the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to gut the agency’s student lending office.
A new polling memo from Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending documents the widespread agreement among American voters that the student debt burden, now at $1.5 trillion, is a crisis.