AFR Statement: We Welcome the President’s Call for a “Student Aid Bill of Rights”

We welcome the President’s announcement today of a Student Aid Bill of Rights, the attention to these pressing problems, and the enhanced commitment to help borrowers with the process of repaying their student loans, which is too often confusing, more expensive than it should be, and fraught with misinformation.

Among the highlights of the announcement—many of them touching on means of protecting borrower rights that AFR members have long pointed to—are requirements for the Department of Education to create a complaint system, the development of a single portal for loan information, protection of the social security benefits for borrowers with disabilities, and steps to streamline income driven repayment plans.

AFR urges swift adoption of these changes, along with further measures to deal with the burden of student loan debt. The complaint system is one of a number of places we think steps can and should be taken ahead of the deadlines laid out by the Administration. While the Department is establishing a full system for dealing with complaints, which should be comprehensive, it should partner with the CFPB so that borrowers can immediately use that process to submit complaints about federal student loans (as they already can about private loans).