US Congress Fails Student Loan Borrowers Once Again

by Stephen Petrina on July 18, 2013

After Congress failed to keep interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford Loans from doubling on July 1st, just yesterday, the U.S. Senate failed to take up a bill that would have reset interest rates at 3.4% for another year, falling short of the 60 votes needed to begin debate.

Simply put, Congress has, once again, failed the American people.  But this isn’t the end of the fight –this is just the beginning.

Throughout this debate, many of you have asked “What about me?” as the vast majority of you wouldn’t be affected by this rate hike anyway.  Well, we’ve heard your voices and we think you’re absolutely right!  The recent debate over interest rates has sucked most of the air out of what should be a much larger debate over how we fund higher education in America.

Because Congress has remained tone-deaf to the will of the American people, we need to raise our voices even louder!  To that end, we’ve started a new petition, demanding that Congress take up Comprehensive Student Debt reform.  Rather than focusing on just one small piece of the overall student debt crisis, we’re asking that Congress take a holistic approach to the issue and completely overhaul the student lending system.  Among the reforms we’re asking for in this new petition are:

  • Restoration of basic consumer protections, such as bankruptcy rights and statutes of limitations on the collections of student loan debt;
  • The right to refinance student loans so as to allow borrowers to take advantage of historically low interest rates;
  • Elimination of the $2,500 cap on the deductibility of student loan interest paid;
  • Elimination of the practice of interest capitalization on student loan debt;
  • The ability to consolidate private student loans with federal loans; and
  • Making all federal and private student loans eligible for income-driven repayment programs, such as IBR and Pay As You Earn, that limits payments to ten percent of income and provides forgiveness after a certain number of years;

This list is by no means exhaustive.  There are countless ways we can reform the way in which higher education is paid for in America, but Congress needs to find the political will to get to work.  Please add your name to this petition today so that we can demonstrate to those who purport to represent us that we’re not only deadly serious, but that we’re not going to give up this fight!

To further help spread the word, please click here to automatically share the Student Debt Crisis image  with your friends on Facebook.  Then, click here to Tweet about the new petition.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.  Now, let’s raise our voices even louder than they’ve been before and let Congress know: they have a job to do and we’re not going anywhere until they do it!

Robert Applebaum, Co-Founder & Executive Director