July 07, 2021

Wyden, Colleagues Urge Education Department to Expand Debt Relief for Student Loan Borrowers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today joined colleagues in urging Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to expand student debt relief in the Department’s upcoming higher education rulemaking.

In a letter to Secretary Cardona, the members highlighted the need for policies that improve and expand our existing student loan repayment and forgiveness programs to ensure borrowers can access the relief they are owed. Specifically, the Senators urged Secretary Cardona to make key improvements in income-driven repayment (IDR) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), as well as ensure that borrowers who have been cheated and defrauded, who attended a school that has closed, or who have total and permanent disabilities are able to access the debt forgiveness that they are owed.

“We write in support of the U.S. Department of Education’s regulatory agenda to provide relief to federal student loan borrowers,” the Senators wrote. “As part of the upcoming negotiated rulemaking process, we encourage the Department to pursue policies that reduce disparities in the burden of student debt, simplify loan repayment, close donut holes in forgiveness programs, and improve the overall confidence of borrowers in the federal student loan system.”

The members stressed that the Administration must ensure the rulemaking committee panel reflects borrowers’ voices and interests, and encouraged the Department to consider opportunities to implement the rules early to provide relief as quickly as possible.

“The rules governing student loan borrower repayment and forgiveness programs will help to provide additional relief to struggling borrowers and close gaps in how these programs currently operate. These regulatory enhancements will also help build borrowers’ confidence in the federal student loan program’s efforts to put higher education within reach for more students, rather than creating complex or burdensome requirements that stop students from accessing or pursuing educational opportunities,” the members wrote.

In addition to Wyden, the letter was signed by Senators Murray, D-Wash., Schumer, D-N.Y., Brown, D-Ohio, Baldwin, D-Wis., Durbin, D-Ill., Warren, D-Mass., Reed, D-R.I., Kaine, D-Va., Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Blumenthal, D-Conn., Padilla, D-Calif., Hirono, D-Hawaii, Hassan, D-N.H., Warnock, D-Ga., Markey, D-Mass., Smith, D-Minn., Klobuchar, D-Minn., Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Van Hollen, D-Md., Menendez, D-N.Y., Booker, D-N.J., and Cardin, D-Md.

The full letter is HERE.