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.
Today, Americans for Financial Reform joined 62 other organizations on a joint letter to Senate appropriators urging them to oppose the overall Labor-HHS-Education spending allocation and the accompanying proposed $1.3 billion rescission from the Pell reserve fund and to instead fully retain all current Pell funds where they belong – in the Pell Grant program.
Letter to Regulators: Joint Letter to CFPB on Debt Collection NPRM’s failure to protect student loan borrowers from abusive practices
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.
Joint Statement: Nation’s Top Student Loan Watchdog Post Remains Vacant 150 Days After CFPB Director Promised to “Quickly” Fill the Role
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.”
The $1.9 billion Wall Street poured into American politics includes contributions to campaign committees and leadership PACs ($922 million) and lobbying expenditures ($957 million). The money backed a massive rush of pro-industry nominees and legislation over the last two years, at a time when the biggest banks made $100 billion in profits for the first time.
Americans for Financial Reform wrote to the California State Assembly in support of AB 376, the Student Borrower Bill of Rights. AB 376 would make California the first state in the nation to create a comprehensive set of rights for people holding student debt, by requiring student loan companies to treat borrowers fairly and giving borrowers the right to hold these companies accountable when they fail to meet basic servicing standards.
Americans for Financial Reform joined 56 other organizations to express strong support for the PROTECT Students Act. This legislation would enact important protections for students and taxpayers
against predatory colleges that cheat students and leave them with large debts they cannot afford.
It also includes a far-reaching set of reforms to hold predatory colleges accountable
to both students and taxpayers.
The financial cycle is a concept developed by economists to understand the reasons why finance-driven growth can be self-defeating. Policymakers need to rebalance our response to recessions and financial crises to prevent any repetition of the experience of 2008-2009, in which benefits flowed to Wall Street, not ordinary Americans.