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).
With regard to student lending, just as in other areas, instead of holding harmful actors accountable, Mulvaney is suppressing exposure of wrongdoing, and undercutting enforcement of the law. AFR thanks Mr. Frotman, and his colleagues, for their good work, and deplores these changes.
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.
“What Mulvaney is really interested in is not serious research, but information that advances the interests of the Wall Street banks and predatory lenders he serves.”
AFR in the News: Ex-federal officials form group to combat rollback of consumer protections in higher ed (Washington Post)
“A cadre of attorneys and policy advisers from the Obama administration is teaming up to do what they say Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seems incapable of doing: protecting students. ‘Rather than collaborating to get more relief to students who’ve fallen prey to industry scams, and to prevent future abuses, DeVos has chosen to make oversight more difficult and accountability harder to come by,’ said Alexis Goldstein, senior policy analyst at the progressive Americans for Financial Reform.”
“The task force is co-chaired by Robert S. Eitel, a former attorney at for-profit college operator Bridgepoint Education, who is now senior counsel to DeVos… ‘At no point are they asking for the input of student loan borrowers or people enrolled in college,’ said Alexis Goldstein, senior policy analyst at the progressive Americans for Financial Reform. “The common theme here is enriching a certain number of private actors at the expense of protections for borrowers.”
“Without exception, the proposals we’ve seen to de-fund or restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are about making it less effective at doing its job,” said Brian Marshall, policy counsel at AFR. “The agency has won relief worth $12 billion for 29 million Americans since it started work. All these proposed changes to the CFPB would do is make it easier for Wall Street and assorted predatory lenders to rip people off.”
AFR in the News: Trump to propose scrapping beleaguered student loan forgiveness program (MarketWatch)
“Alexis Goldstein, a senior policy analyst at Americans for Financial Reform… described the idea of eliminating the program as ‘horrifying,’ noting that… borrowers are struggling to manage their student debt, pushing them to put off home-buying and other financial milestones. Eliminating a forgiveness program would only make that worse, she said. ‘It seems both ill-conceived from a policy perspective and just cruel.’”
“’Undoing these memos is a very concerning indication of how much (Department of Education officials) value protecting borrowers versus how much they want to insulate servicers,’ said Alexis Goldstein [of] Americans for Financial Reform. ‘Is this meant to be a message that says we are less concerned with borrowers and more concerned with protecting servicers even if they made mistakes in the past?’”
Joint Letter to Congress: 50+ Organizations Urge Congress to Keep Rules That Protect Students and Taxpayers from Waste and Fraud in Higher Education
“We believe protections for student and taxpayers should be strengthened, not scaled back. …Veterans, low-income students and students of color have been disproportionately harmed by predatory colleges. Last month, 16 organizations representing millions of military servicemembers, veterans, survivors, and military families voiced their strong support for these protections and urged Congress to fully uphold them.”