AFR/CRL Poll: Bipartisan Majorities See $1.5 Trillion Student Debt Burden As Crisis


Aug. 9, 2018

Carter Dougherty, 251-6700


New Poll Finds Voters See “Crisis” in Student Debt Burden

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 commissioned by Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending. A memo on the poll results can be found here.

The poll 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.

“Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and other administration officials need to accept what real people already know, namely that the crushing student debt burden in the United States amounts to a real crisis,” said Alexis Goldstein, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform. “Rather than attacking the rights of student borrowers at every turn, DeVos needs to embrace policies that help people manage this enormous financial challenge right now and take steps to avoid new accumulation of debt.”

DeVos has pursued many destructive policies, including:

  • Proposing a change to the Borrower Defense rule that would force students to default on their loans before they could apply for loan relief, as well as take away consistent access to debt relief when a school closes.
  • Trying to prevent states from exercising their right to hold student loan servicers accountable and protect their residents.
  • Rolled back Department of Education guidelines that provided for increased consumer protection and servicer accountability, including by removing the requirement that the Department consider past abuses by servicers before awarding them new contracts.