Loan servicers “preyed upon” student borrowers, but lawmakers hope to change that

By flymultimediaghana Mar11,2024
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Legislators and consumer activists believe that in order to address the $1.5 trillion student loan crisis, it is necessary to provide student borrowers with more safeguards against the for-profit businesses that oversee the loan servicing sector.

Loan servicers "preyed upon" student borrowers, but lawmakers hope to change that
Loan servicers “preyed upon” student borrowers, but lawmakers hope to change that

The House Financial Services Committee discussed student lending and its implications for the 45 million American borrowers on Tuesday, September 10. The committee’s Republicans and Democrats both concurred that there are issues with the present student loan program. Legislators and consumer activists specifically attacked Navient and other for-profit student loan servicing organizations, arguing that students need greater support and safeguards against them.

Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) stated on Tuesday that “Congress and this committee have a responsibility to take action to ensure student loan borrowers are better protected.”

Furthermore, not just legislators are advocating for reform. The host of the Netflix series “Patriot Act,” comedian Hasan Minhaj, urged the committee to take action to safeguard borrowers. “It should never be necessary for Americans to go bankrupt in order to pursue higher education, and they should never be exploited by poorly regulated loan servicing companies,” stated Minhaj.

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According to Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, from the moment they take out a loan until they pay it back, servicing businesses have a “bullseye” on their back and are using “predatory tactics” against borrowers of student loans.

He says that’s because borrowers who are students have fewer rights than almost any other category of borrower. According to Frotman, “if you’re paying back your mortgage or credit card, you have more protections.” “Some large banks and federal servicers see the student loan crisis as a way to make easy money.”

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Democrats released eight draft bills for discussion on Tuesday that would, among other things, create a bill of rights for student borrowers, improve credit reporting guidelines, prevent debt collectors from unfairly targeting student borrowers, safeguard borrowers of private student loans, and assist borrowers with student debt in buying their first home.

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