Republicans Seek Feedback on Direct Loan Program
The House Committee on Education and Workforce is seeking feedback from borrowers and schools on servicing issues related to the Direct Loan Program. Specifically, the lawmakers are asking borrowers to share experiences they have had related to loan rehabilitation, debt collection, privacy concerns, and poor customer service. Feedback can be provided through the committee's Facebook page, or by emailing DLFeedback@mail.house.gov.
Last month, Republican education leaders in the House and Senate asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide information about the U.S. Department of Education's administration of the Direct Loan Program amid concerns about loan rehabilitation and potential violations of Fair Debt Collection laws. The request came after a Bloomberg report about some students being harassed during the debt collection process was released. The lawmakers sent a letter to GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro asking GAO to answer five questions about the department's rehabilitation and loan collection processes.
"As part of our oversight responsibilities, it is important for us to understand challenges with the Direct Loan program," the letter states. "Bureaucratic problems within the department that are creating additional issues for borrowers could have serious implications not only for the Direct Loan program, but also for the financial stability of all student loan borrowers."
The letter is signed by House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN), Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Michael Enzi (R-WY), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).