NEW: Several Virginia Colleges & Universities Back Spanberger’s Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Transparency in Federal Student Loan Disclosures, Support Borrowers

Mar 06, 2023
Education
Press

George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, & the University of Mary Washington Today Endorsed the Congresswoman’s Legislation to Help Students Better Understand their Debt Burdens

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Several Virginia colleges and universities — including George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, Germanna Community College, and the University of Mary Washington — today are backing U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger’s bipartisan bill to increase transparency in the federal student loan process.

Spanberger’s Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act would give Virginia students additional tools to understand and decrease their student debt burdens. Specifically, her bill would require separate, monthly disclosures to student loan borrowers regarding their projected payments, accrued interest, total cost of attendance, and other personalized details in understandable terms. Additionally, the bill would require these regular monthly disclosures throughout the life of a federal loan.  

“Congresswoman Spanberger’s bill would provide much needed simplicity and transparency to the student loan process and is a welcome step for students and their families,” said Dr. Mark Ginsberg, Provost, George Mason University.

“To make educated financial decisions, college students need timely, clear, and easily understood information about loans, and the Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act would provide just that. Thank you to Representative Abigail Spanberger for introducing this important student-centered bill,” said Dr. Anne M. Kress, President, Northern Virginia Community College.

“Germanna Community College enthusiastically endorses the reintroduced legislation, Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act, in the 118th Congress. Students often borrow without full knowledge of the terms and conditions attached to student loans. For example, is this a private loan or federally subsidized? What happens if payments aren’t made on time? Can part of the loan be forgiven through public service? This legislation will allow simplified disclosures in easy and understandable terms, regular monthly disclosures during the life of a loan, and projected payments based on the amount borrowed. The Act will put these disclosure responsibilities where they belong — with lenders. Creating and disseminating clear information for students and their families will assist in preventing financial ruin for many,” said Dr. Janet Gullickson, President, Germanna Community College.

“The Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act would encourage and empower our students to know and understand the terms of available student loans, increasing transparency and helping our students advance their education. Thank you to Representative Abigail Spanberger for championing its re-introduction,” said Dr. Troy D. Paino, President, University of Mary Washington.

Spanberger introduced her bipartisan bill alongside U.S. Representatives Mike Waltz (R-FL-06) and Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR-05) last week.

BACKGROUND

The Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act would improve transparency across the entire life of the federal loan while the borrower attends college and during any period of repayment, deferment, forbearance, or delinquency. Additionally, the bill would help encourage student borrowers to pay interest fees and other costs before graduation.

Specifically, the Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act would require:

  • Simplified disclosures in easy and understandable terms. The bipartisan bill would prioritize important personalized information, including origination fees, interest rates, and early payment plans – critical information needed to let students know how to best manage their finances and borrow responsibly.
  • Regular monthly disclosures during the life of a loan. Under current law, a borrower is only required to receive a disclosure at three points: once at disbursement, once at or prior to repayment, and once during repayment status. The bill increases the frequency of these disclosures while borrowers attend college and after.
  • Projected payments based on amount borrowed. Included in the monthly disclosures would be projected monthly payments based on how much a student has borrowed with an option to pay any interest that accrues while a borrower is still in school.

Spanberger’s bill is also endorsed by the Bipartisan Policy Center, American Association of Colleges and Universities, American Association of Community Colleges, and College Ave Student Loans.

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