Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants to end student loan relief, but bipartisan attorneys general are … [+]
A group of 30 bipartisan attorneys general are calling on the Senate to extend student loan relief in the next stimulus bill, both beyond the current suspension and to more borrowers.
When Congress passed the CARES Act, it suspended student loan payments and interest on federally-held student loans until September 30, 2020. Led by Kevin Clarkson (R-AK) and Kwame Raoul (D-IL), the bipartisan attorneys general wrote a letter to Senate leaders to urge them to extend the student loan suspension beyond the current deadline.
The attorneys general asked the Senate to “formulate long-term and sustainable solutions for student loan borrowers such as those in the recently-passed HEROES Act.”
The HEROES Act would extend the current suspension until September 30, 2021 and was passed by the House in May. The attorneys general also said student loan servicers should be required to evaluate borrowers who are struggling for income-driven repayment plans immediately.
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One problem with the CARES Act was it excluded those federal student loan borrowers under the old bank-based system and those with Perkins loans. That left out nearly 8 million student borrowers from the student loan relief in the middle of the pandemic.
The attorneys general wrote in support of provisions from the Student Loan Fairness Act of 2020. The legislation was introduced by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and would provide the relief from the CARES Act to all federal student loan borrowers.
Currently, Congressional leaders are negotiating with the Trump Administration on what to include in the next stimulus package. While Democrats are pushing for the extension for another year, Senate Republicans have said they don’t want to extend the student loan relief any further.
President Trump even said he is considering providing more student loan relief. Others are calling for more than just payment relief, asking for debt forgiveness.
Some have suggested a deal is possible this week, but it is too soon to tell. Student borrowers are anxiously waiting for clarity before the current relief ends next month.