What steps are you taking to help borrowers when student loan repayments resume? – Framingham SOURCE
In full transparency, the following is a press release from the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren. She was elected by voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to serve Washington DC State in the United States Senate. She is a Democrat. (file photo)
WASHINGTON DC — U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Reps. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) and Colin Allred (D-Tex.) have sent a letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona requesting information about the actions of the US Department of Education. (ED) will take to help student loan borrowers and ensure they are properly notified of the restart of federal student loan payments as we approach the scheduled end of the payment pause on May 1, 2022.
The letter is also signed by Senators Maggie Hassan (DN.H.) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nev.) and Bill Foster (D-Ill.), Lucy McBath (D – Georgia.).
“(W)e are concerned that with less than 70 days to the scheduled expiration, borrowers may lack clarity on the timing associated with the resumption of payments. Providing these details is essential to ensure that borrowers are properly notified of the restart and that harm to borrowers is minimized during the transition,” the lawmakers wrote.
After a two-year hiatus, the ED is scheduled to resume on May 2, 2022 the collection of federal student loan payments, interest accrual, and involuntary collection of delinquent loans for more than 42.3 million borrowers. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report estimates that about half of all federal student loan borrowers are at increased risk of delinquency and need additional, targeted engagement before and after payments resume. ED uses email as its primary method of communicating with borrowers, but as of December 2021 the agency lacked valid email addresses for approximately 5.5 million borrowers.
Additionally, the contractor who handles defaulted loans does not have an email address for about 25% of defaulted borrowers. Other major changes to the student loan program, including the departures of three federal student loan managers (Navient, PHEAA and Granite State), are also likely to worsen borrowers’ lack of clarity about the restart.
As the May 1 restart date approaches, lawmakers are seeking updated information on key dates associated with the resumption of student loan repayments, including when first loan repayments are due; the dates on which borrowers will become defaulters, be charged late fees, have negative credit reports triggered, receive collection notices, or be placed in default and subject to wage garnishment; the processes ED has in place to prevent borrowers from defaulting; and how ED intends to notify borrowers of the resumption of payments.
Read the text of the Letter here.
Click here to read responses from student loan officers.