Spanberger, Waltz, Chavez-DeRemer Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Transparency in Federal Student Loan Disclosures, Support Borrowers

Mar 03, 2023
Education
Press

Bipartisan Bill Would Give Borrowers Regular, Pertinent Information Related to Projected Payments, Accrued Interest, & Other Personalized Details

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), Mike Waltz (R-FL-06), and Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR-05) today introduced bipartisan legislation to increase transparency in the federal student loan process and to give borrowers additional tools to understand and decrease their student debt burdens.

The Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act 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. This requirement would give students more information as they begin to manage their finances and understand the significant financial commitment associated with taking on student loan debt. Additionally, the bill would require these regular monthly disclosures throughout the life of a federal loan.  

“Virginians who attend college are making an important investment in their futures, but they’re often making an enormous financial commitment. We need to help these borrowers make informed, responsible decisions about their financial futures and the potential burdens ahead,” said Spanberger. “I’m proud to join with Congressman Waltz and Congresswoman Chavez-DeRemer to introduce this bipartisan legislation to increase transparency for borrowers across the country. When we equip our next generation to succeed, we make sure our communities, our economy, and our country can succeed.”

“Making the decision to continue your educational journey should be as simple and straightforward as possible,” said Waltz. “Unfortunately, today’s confusing and complex student loan borrowing process is far from that. In order to curtail our nation’s growing student loan debt crisis, we must make the borrowing process more transparent. This bill is an important step in reforming our system and will empower students to make the best decisions for both their educational and financial futures.”

“I’m proud to help lead this bipartisan legislation, which will provide students with much-needed transparency on the true cost of their college education — including by providing regular updates on what monthly payments will look like after graduation. Failing to act means students are literally stuck paying the price,” said Chavez-DeRemer.

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.

The bipartisan legislation is endorsed by the Bipartisan Policy Center, American Association of Colleges and Universities, American Association of Community Colleges, and College Ave Student Loans.

“BPC Action applauds the introduction of the Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act and commends Rep. Waltz (R-FL) and Rep. Spanberger (D-VA) for their leadership on this effort. This bipartisan legislation will bring greater transparency to the student loan process, providing students and their families with more comprehensive information on their financial obligations spanning the entire life of their loans. Empowering borrowers to better understand their student loans is a critical part of making postsecondary education more accessible to all Americans. BPC Action encourages all members of Congress join in the effort to move this legislation forward,” said Michele Stockwell, Executive Director, Bipartisan Policy Center Action.

“A college education is one of the most important investments many students and families make. The Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act would help ensure that borrowers have the information they need to make informed decisions about financing their education. Passage of this bipartisan act would be an important step forward in addressing the student debt crisis,” said David Tritelli, PhD, Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs, American Association of Colleges and Universities.

“Higher education and transparency in lending are critical to understanding the opportunities and risks of borrowing money. As young adults seek financing for college, the risks to borrowing money need to be communicated and reinforced through tangible repayment details. The Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act does just that. This legislation is a common sense, bipartisan bill that aims to help students understand the terms and implications of the federal debt they incur. This is an important step that harnesses industry best practices to empower students,” said Joe DePaulo, CEO, College Ave Student Loans.

The bipartisan bill is also cosponsored by U.S. Representatives Bill Johnson (R-OH-06), Kim Schrier (D-WA-08), and Greg Stanton (D-AZ-04).

Click here for the full bill text.

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