Attorney General Phil Weiser urges US Education Secretary to comprehensively address student loan crisis
March 31, 2021 (DENVER)—Attorney General Phil Weiser led a coalition of 23 states today, urging U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to adopt additional reforms that would ease the process of paying student loans and would protect student loan borrowers from having to pay back debt to for-profit and defunct colleges that deceived them.
“Student loan debt is a heavy burden that many Coloradans bear,” Weiser said. “By implementing sensible student loan reforms, the Department of Education can help ease that burden and enable student loan borrowers, including those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to avoid the potentially severe consequences of being unable to pay back these loans.”
In the coalition’s letter to Cardona, the attorneys general urged the secretary and the Department of Education to consider several policy actions that would help student loan borrowers, including:
- Continuing the policy of suspending student loan payments and waiving interest for as long as necessary to support struggling borrowers;
- Continuing the policy of suspending of involuntary collections activities, as well as authorizing suspended payments to count towards both Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment plan forgiveness;
- Enacting reforms so that student loan borrowers are able to access and remain in income-driven repayment plans to which they are entitled, enabling borrowers to have more affordable monthly payments, avoid the serious consequences of default, and secure loan forgiveness when appropriate; and
- Enforcing the gainful employment requirement of the Higher Education Act, which would shield borrowers from for-profit programs that fail to prepare students for careers.
The letter also applauded the Department’s March 30 actions to expand pandemic protections to privately-owned loans.
The letter was issued by Weiser and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who were joined by the attorneys general of Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Learn about the Colorado Office of the Attorney General’s work to regulate student loan servicers, and find tips on how to avoid student loan-related scams, at coag.gov/studentloans.