Legislative Tracker Archive: Loans & Repayment

Legislative TrackerOn this page, you'll find proposals to improve the process by which students borrow and repay their loans.

 

  

Stopping Abusive Student Loan Collection Practices in Bankruptcy Act
HR 100 Sponsor:
Rep. Conyers (D-MI, 13)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (0 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
1/6/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill amends federal bankruptcy law to allow an individual whose student loan debt is discharged due to undue hardship to recover the costs of, and a reasonable attorney's fee for, the discharge proceeding if the court finds that the position of the creditor was not substantially justified.

 

Repay Act
S. 85 Sponsor:
Sen. King (I-ME)
Co-Sponsors:
11 (7 R; 4 D)
Introduced:
1/7/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would streamline Direct Loan repayment plan options for student borrowers. New student borrowers would choose between two repayment plans: a fixed 10-year plan (renamed and otherwise unchanged from the current “standard” plan) or a simplified income-driven repayment (SIDR) plan. Plans available to parent PLUS borrowers and student borrowers who don't qualify as new borrowers would remain unchanged.

 

Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency Act (FAST Act)
S.108 Sponsor:
Sen. Alexander (R-TN)
Co-Sponsors:
11 (7 R; 3 D; 1 I)
Introduced:
1/7/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would eliminate the FAFSA in favor of a 2-question postcard, move to a 1 grant/1 loan program, reinstate year-round Pell, provide authority to limit loans, among several other changes.

 

American Indian Teacher Loan Forgiveness Act
HR 386 Sponsor:
Rep. Ruiz (D-CA, 36)
Co-Sponsors:
12 (0 R; 12 D)
Introduced:
1/14/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: Would provide up to $17,500 of loan forgiveness to borrowers who: (1) are a member of an Indian tribe, and (2) have been employed as a full-time teacher for five consecutive complete school years in an Indian school or in a local educational agency that serves at least 10 Indian students or whose schools have an enrollment of students at least 25% of which are Indians.

 

Discharge Student Loans in Bankruptcy Act
HR 449 Sponsor:
Rep. Delaney (D-MD, 6)
Co-Sponsors:
17 (2 R; 15 D)
Introduced:
1/21/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy.

 

Student Loan Refinancing Act
HR 649 Sponsor:
Rep. Pocan (D-WI, 2)
Co-Sponsors:
51 (3 R; 48 D)
Introduced:
2/2/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This legislation would allow students to refinance Direct Loans at the interest rate at the time of the modification.

 

Eliminating the Hidden Student Loan Tax Act
HR 1285 Sponsor:
Rep. Davis (D-CA, 53)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
3/4/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would eliminate origination fees on all Direct Loans.

 

Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights
S. 840 Sponsor:
Sen. Durbin (D-IL)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (0 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
3/23/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This comprehensive legislation would require lenders to provide information and disclosures at designated points in the repayment process and adds certain servicing standards for both federal and private loans.

 

Fairness in Student Loan Lending Act
HR 1131 Sponsor:
Rep. McDermott (D-WA, 7)
Co-Sponsors:
17 (0 R; 17 D)
Introduced:
2/26/2015
S. 729 Sponsor:
Sen. Durbin (D-IL)
Co-Sponsors:
15 (0 R; 15 D)
Introduced:
3/12/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow student loan borrowers in good standing to refinance their loans to a rate equal to the 10-year Treasury note on the last day of business of the previous month plus one percent. Furthermore, the bill would allow borrowers to discharge private student loans in bankruptcy.

 

Student Loan Borrowers' Bill of Rights Act
HR 1352 Sponsor:
Rep. Wilson (D-FL, 24)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
3/10/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill restores bankruptcy protections for federal and private student loans, establishes a statute of limitations on student loan debt collection, creates new protections against discrimination in professional licensing, and prohibits the garnishment of wages, tax refunds, and Social Security benefits.

 

Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act
S. 793 Sponsor:
Rep. Warren (D-MA)
Co-Sponsors:
35 (0 R; 34 D; 1 I)
Introduced:
3/18/2015
HR 1434 Sponsor:
Rep. Courtney (D-CT, 2)
Co-Sponsors:
181 (0 R; 181 D)
Introduced:
3/18/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This legislation would allow eligible student loan borrowers to refinance their federal loans to lower interest rates and to refinance private student loans into the federal student loan program. The bill's budgetary offset comes from eliminating certain tax loopholes.

 

Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Fairness Act
HR 1674 Sponsor:
Rep. Cohen (D-TN, 9)
Co-Sponsors:
41 (0 R; 41 D)
Introduced:
3/262015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow private student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy.

 

Protecting All College Tuition (PACT) Act
HR 2267 Sponsor:
Rep. Collins (R-NY, 27)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (3 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
5/12/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would establish that college tuition payments qualify under the “reasonably equivalent value” bankruptcy standard, exempting tuition payments from bankruptcy practices.

 

College for All Act
S. 1373 Sponsor:
Sen. Sanders (I-VT)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
5/19/2015
HR 4385 Sponsor:
Rep. Grayson (D-FL, 9)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (0 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
1/13/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The comprehensive legislation would create a grant program to states to eliminate tuition at public 4-year colleges and universities. The bill would cut interest rates and impose a cap of 8.25% and allow borrowers to refinance loans at the current interest rates. The bill would also expand Federal Work Study (FWS) and create a pilot program to assess the need to complete the FAFSA annually. The budgetary offset comes from imposing certain taxes and fees on stocks, bonds, and derivatives.

 

Andrew's Law
S. 1384 Sponsor:
Sen. Schumer (D-NY)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
5/19/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would discharge the repayment obligations of the estate of a borrower and any cosigner of a private educational loan if the borrower dies.

 

Young Farmer Success Act
HR 2590 Sponsor:
Rep. Gibson (R-NY, 19)
Co-Sponsors:
13 (2 R; 11 D)
Introduced:
6/1/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill adds new and beginning farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

 

Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act
S. 1556 Sponsor:
Sen. Durbin (D-IL)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
6/11/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill allows part-time adjunct faculty members to qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

 

Teacher Loan Repayment Act (TELORA)
S. 1892 Sponsor:
Sen. Hatch (R-UT)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (1 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
7/29/2015
HR 3359 Sponsor:
Rep. Kilmer (D-WA, 6)
Co-Sponsors:
5 (2 R; 3 D)
Introduced:
7/29/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This legislation would eliminate several teacher loan forgiveness programs in favor of a single, to-be-created one. Further, the legislation provides incentives for states to contribute to teacher loan repayment and is limited to teachers working in low-income schools.

 

Teach Our Teachers Act
HR 3366 Sponsor:
Rep. Lawrence (D-MI, 14)
Co-Sponsors:
16 (0 R; 16 D)
Introduced:
7/29/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This measure would allow teachers to qualify for both teacher loan forgiveness and public service loan forgiveness and makes several other minor adjustments.

 

Access to Fair Financial Options for Repaying Debt (AFFORD) Act
S. 1948 Sponsor:
Sen. Merkley (D-OR)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
8/5/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This legislation would replace all current Direct Loan repayment plans with two: an income-based repayment (IBR) plan that is modeled on, but differs from, Pay As You Earn (PAYE), and a fixed repayment plan that would provide up to 25 years to repay depending on the amount borrowed.

 

Student Debt Repayment Fairness Act
HR 3450 Sponsor:
Rep. Kildee (D-MI, 5)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
9/8/2015
HR 6150 Sponsor:
Rep. Kildee (D-MI, 5)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
9/22/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would prohibit private lenders from accelerating loan repayment in the event of death or disability of the loan’s co-signer.

 

Student Loan Bankruptcy Parity Act
HR 3451 Sponsor:
Rep. Kildee (D-MI, 5)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
9/8/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy.

 

Private Education Loan Modification Act
S. 2050 Sponsor:
Sen. Heitkamp (D-ND)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
9/17/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This legislation would allow students to refinance private student loans at lower interest rates.

 

Student Loan Debt Protection Act
HR 3634 Sponsor:
Rep. Wilson (D-FL, 24)
Co-Sponsors:
4 (0 R; 4 D)
Introduced:
9/28/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This extensive measure would establish student loan borrowers’ rights to basic consumer protections, flexible repayment options, access to earned credentials, and loan cancellation in exchange for public service.

 

Student Loan Relief Act
S. 2099 Sponsor:
Sen. Ayotte (R-NH)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (2 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
9/29/2015
HR 4102 Sponsor:
Rep. Comstock (R-VA, 10)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
11/19/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow borrowers to refinance their federal student loans into the private market into federally guaranteed loans. In addition, this legislation creates a new tool to allow employers to help qualified employees repay student loans with pre-tax dollars.

 

Student Borrower Fairness Act
HR 3675 Sponsor:
Rep. DeSaulnier (D-CA, 11)
Co-Sponsors:
6 (0 R; 6 D)
Introduced:
10/1/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow borrowers to refinance their student loans at the interest rates offered to banks by the Federal Reserve.

  

Earnings Contingent Education Loans (ExCEL) Act
HR 3695 Sponsor:
Rep. Zeldin (R-NY, 1)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
10/6/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This comprehensive bill, which is practically identical to HR 3752, would eliminate the Direct Loan Program and instead establish an "Income Dependent Education Assistance (IDEA)" Loan Program. The new program would include a universal income-based repayment component with automatic wage withholding as the mechanism for repayment.

 

Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act
HR 3751 Sponsor:
Rep. Peters (D-CA, 52)
Co-Sponsors:
12 (0 R; 12 D)
Introduced:
10/9/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This measure would automatically refinance interest rates on all federal student loans to four percent.

 

Earnings Contingent Education Loans (ExCEL) Act
HR 3752 Sponsor:
Rep. Polis (D-CO, 2)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
10/9/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This comprehensive bill, which is practically identical to HR 3695, would eliminate the Direct Loan Program and instead establish an "Income Dependent Education Assistance (IDEA)" Loan Program. The new program would include a universal income-based repayment component with automatic wage withholding as the mechanism for repayment.

 

Rural Educator Support and Training (REST) Act
S. 2190 Sponsor:
Sen. Tester (D-MT)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
10/21/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: In addition to providing grants to students who commit to pursue rural education as a career path, this bill would provide loan forgiveness up to $17,500 to teachers who teach in rural schools for a minimum of 5 years.

 

Student Loan Fair Prepayment Act
HR 3786 Sponsor:
Rep. Davis (D-CA, 53)
Co-Sponsors:
6 (0 R; 6 D)
Introduced:
10/21/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require extra payments on student loans to apply toward the principal of the loan first before applying to future payments or interest.

 

Recruiting and Retaining Effective School Leaders Act
HR 3925 Sponsor:
Rep. Davis (D-CA, 53)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
11/4/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would establish a Direct Loan forgiveness program for principals who serve in low-income elementary and secondary schools for at least one school year.

 

Help Americans Never Get Unwanted Phone Calls (HANGUP) Act
S. 2235 Sponsor:
Sen. Markey (D-MA)
Co-Sponsors:
19 (1 R; 17 D; 1 I)
Introduced:
11/4/2015
HR 4682 Sponsor:
Rep. Duckworth (D-IL, 18)
Co-Sponsors:
4 (0 R; 4 D)
Introduced:
3/3/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill eliminates a provision allowing the federal government and its contractors to use predictive dialer technology to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States, which includes federal student loans.

 

Student Loan Payment Optimization Act
HR 3947 Sponsor:
Rep. Deutch (D-FL, 21)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (0 R; 3 D)
Introduced:
11/5/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This measure would require lenders to apply borrower payments that are for more than the required amount to reduce principal.

 

Student Loan Transfers Disclosure Act
HR 3948 Sponsor:
Rep. Deutch (D-FL, 21)
Co-Sponsors:
10 (0 R; 10 D)
Introduced:
11/5/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require servicers to notify borrowers if the loan is transferred to another servicer. The student loan transferors and transferees would be required to provide sufficient notice to the borrower and provide information about the loan transfer.

 

Stop Debt Collection Abuse Act
S. 2255 Sponsor:
Sen. Booker (D-NJ)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
11/5/2015
HR 5434 Sponsor:
Rep. Love (R-UT, 4)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (1 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
6/9/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill amends the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to make clear that the protections from overly aggressive debt collection practices also apply to debt collection agents hired by the federal government, including for servicers of federal student loans.

 

Physician Assistant Higher Education Modernization Act 
HR 3944 Sponsor:
Rep. Bass (D-CA, 37)
Co-Sponsors:
4 (0 R; 4 D)
Introduced:
11/5/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would increase the unsubsidized loan limit for graduate students in physician assistant (PA) programs, authorize loan forgiveness programs for PAs who serve in areas of national need, develop a program to expand PA education programs at rural institutions, make Historically Black Colleges & Universities eligible to receive additional grants and give grant preference to programs at Hispanic Serving Institutions, and increase grant funding opportunities for PA faculty development and technology at PA programs.

 

Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt (POST GRAD) Act
HR 4223 Sponsor:
Rep. Chu (D-CA, 27)
Co-Sponsors:
48 (0 R; 48 D)
Introduced:
12/10/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would again allow graduate and professional students to receive subsidized Stafford loans. The bill would restore eligibility beginning in the 2016-2017 award year.

 

Protection of Social Security Benefits Restoration Act
S. 2387 Sponsor:
Sen. Wyden (D-OR)
Co-Sponsors:
7 (0 R; 7 D)
Introduced:
12/10/2015
HR 4988 Sponsor:
Rep. Murphy (D-FL, 18)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
4/18/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would prohibit the federal government from seizing Social Security benefits for unpaid federal debts, including student loans. 

 

Simple Income-Based Repayment Act
HR 4256 Sponsor:
Rep. Murphy (D-FL, 18)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
12/15/2015
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would automatically enroll all new borrowers of federal student loans (except Parent PLUS) into Income-Based Repayment (IBR); existing borrowers may opt-in if desired. The bill would require automatic payments through payroll deduction.

 

Dynamic Repayment Act
S. 2456 Sponsor:
Sen. Warner (D-VA)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
1/20/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: Introduced again in this session of Congress, the bill would replace current loans, subsidies, deferments, forbearances, and repayment options with a single loan called the Income Dependent Education Assistance (IDEA) Loan and would be repaid through income-based repayment and employer withholding. 

 

Strengthening Forgiveness for Public Servants Act
S. 2463 Sponsor:
Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
1/21/2016
HR 5899 Sponsor:
Rep. Swalwell (D-CA, 15)
Co-Sponsors:
8 (0 R; 8 D)
Introduced:
7/14/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would remove the "all or nothing" component of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and allow borrowers employed in public service jobs to receive a percentage of forgiveness if employed in a public service job for less than 10 years. The percentage of the loan that is cancelled varies: for 2-5 years, 15%; for 6-9 years, 20%; and for 10 years, 30%.

 

Parent PLUS Loan Improvement Act
HR 4661 Sponsor:
Rep. Fudge (D-OH, 11)
Co-Sponsors:
9 (0 R; 9 D)
Introduced:
3/2/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill makes several changes to Parent PLUS loans. The legislation would lower interest rates, eliminate the origination fee, require loan entrance counseling, and allow Parent PLUS borrowers to participate in income-contingent and income-based repayment plans. 

 

In the Red Act
S. 2677 Sponsor:
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Co-Sponsors:
28 (0 R; 28 D)
Introduced:
3/15/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The In the Red Act would simply combine some of the higher education legislation introduced in the Senate in 2015 by Democrats - including the America’s College Promise Act, which would make two years of community college and the first two years at HBCUs and MSIs tuition free; the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which allows borrowers to refinance their loans; and the Pell Grant Cost of Tuition Adjustment Act, which would increase the Pell Grant maximum award to $9,139, indexed annually to inflation -- into one package. The bill also includes language calling for enhanced accountability for institutions, but does not include legislative language to implement any sort of accountability system.

 

Teacher Debt Relief Act
HR 4933 Sponsor:
Rep. Takano (D-CA, 41)
Co-Sponsors:
4 (1 R; 3 D)
Introduced:
4/13/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow teachers to qualify for both Stafford loan teacher forgiveness and forgiveness under Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Currently, borrowers are not eligible to use the same service toward both programs. 

 

Fairness in Forgiveness Act
HR 5201 Sponsor:
Rep. Swalwell (D-CA, 15)
Co-Sponsors:
13 (0 R; 13 D)
Introduced:
5/11/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would expand eligibility for public service loan forgiveness to current and former long-time employees at all 16 privately operated Department of Energy National Laboratories. Eligibility would be retroactive to October 1, 2007. 

 

Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act
HR 5274 Sponsor:
Rep. Garamendi (D-CA, 3)
Co-Sponsors:
30 (1 R; 29 D)
Introduced:
5/18/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow for refinancing of both Direct Loans and FFELP Loans. The bill would also lower the percentage add-on to the 10-year Treasury bill in the calculation of interest rates to one percent for undergraduate, graduate, and parent borrowers. In addition, the bill would eliminate origination fees. 

 

Student Loan Fairness Act 
HR 5487 Sponsor:
Rep. Bass (D-CA, 37)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
6/15/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would create the “10/10 Loan Repayment Plan” that allows borrowers to pay 10 percent of their annual discretionary income and forgives the remaining loan balance after ten years of payment. The bill caps new direct loan interest rates at 3.4 percent and expands Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)  to include physicians in Medically Underserved Areas to qualify. The bill also allows certain borrowers with private education loans to consolidate them into a direct consolidation loan. The bill excludes loan forgiveness under Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) repayment plans from gross income for the purposes of income tax.

 

Student Loan Interest Rate Parity Act
HR 5567 Sponsor:
Rep. Salmon (R-AZ, 5)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
6/22/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require that all Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, and Federal Direct PLUS Loans have the same interest rates.

 

Native Education Support and Training (NEST) Act
HR 5700 Sponsor:
Rep. Ruiz (D-CA, 36)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
7/8/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would establish scholarships, loan forgiveness plans, and training programs for educators who commit to teaching in Native American or Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools. The bill would create three scholarship programs, including two for Indian students seeking undergraduate or graduate degrees, and one for students seeking undergraduate degrees, for students who commit to teaching in a BIE school for at least three years. To receive loan forgiveness, students must teach for at least five consecutive years. The bill also provides grants for institutions of higher education looking to develop training programs for Native American immersion and language teachers.

 

Streamlining Income-driven, Manageable Payments on Loans for Education (SIMPLE) Act
HR 5962 Sponsor:
Rep. Bonamici (D-OR, 1)
Co-Sponsors:
11 (4 R; 7 D)
Introduced:
9/8/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would auto-enroll delinquent borrowers in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan and automatically recertify income and family size on an annual basis for borrowers already enrolled in IDR plans.

 

Terrorism Survivors Student Loan Deferment Act
S. 3352 Sponsor:
Sen. Rubio (R-FL)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
9/19/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow survivors of terrorist attacks, as determined by the federal agency investigating the attack, to defer loan payments for one year, not counting against the three-year deferment allowance. The bill applies to Direct Loans, Perkins Loans, and FFEL Loans. 

 

Supporting America’s Young Entrepreneurs Act
HR 6197 Sponsor:
Rep. Velazquez (D-NY, 7)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (0 R; 3 D)
Introduced:
9/28/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This comprehensive bill would allow "founders of small business start-ups" to defer loan payments without interest accruing for up to three years. In addition, after 24 monthly payments, founders of small business start-ups in a "distressed area" can receive $20,000 in forgiveness on their balance.  Employees of a small business start-up would be eligible for $3,000 in forgiveness after 12 monthly payments with an aggregate forgiveness limit of $15,000. Forgiveness under both sections would be tax-exempt. Employees, employers, and distressed areas would be defined and certified by a to-be-created "Young Entrepreneurs Business Center." The bill also creates a "Federal Direct Refinanced Private Loan Program" where any borrower, not only small business employees, can refinance private loans through the federal government with an interest rate of 3.76%. 

 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Inclusion Act
HR 6205 Sponsor:
Rep. Foster (D-IL, 11)
Co-Sponsors:
4 (0 R; 4 D)
Introduced:
9/28/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would allow previously ineligible repayment plan payments to become eligible as a "qualifying payment" for the purpose of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) if a borrower transfers to an eligible repayment plan within five years (first 60 payments) of entering full time employment. Currently ineligible repayment plans for PSLF include the graduated and extended plans.

  

Making College More Affordable Act
HR 6231 Sponsor:
Rep. Cicilline (D-RI, 1)
Co-Sponsors:
10 (0 R; 10 D)
Introduced:
9/28/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would eliminate undergraduate eligibility for Federal Direct Stafford Loans and instead create the "Federal Interest Free Education Loan," where borrowers would repay their loan through mandated automatic deductions from pre-tax income. The loan would have an aggregate limit of $90,000 over four years only. Borrowers would repay this loan based on a percentage of their income over the course of 30 years, starting at 4% for those borrowers earning less than $100,000 and increasing progressively with a cap at 10% for borrowers making over $150,000. No payment would be due if a borrower's income is below roughly 336.7% of the federal poverty line (currently $40,000 for an individual). In addition, no interest accrues on the loan unless "a borrower is not earning taxable income due to professional negligence, professional incompetence, or malicious action on the part of the borrower." All remaining loan balance would be canceled after 300 monthly payments (25 years). 

 

Helping Improve Grants for Higher Education & Repayment of Expensive Debt (HIGHER ED) Act
HR 6239 Sponsor:
Rep. DeFazio (D-OR, 4)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
9/28/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would restore graduate and professional student eligibility for subsidized loans and expand Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) eligibly to adjunct faculty members. In addition, borrowers would be able to discharge federal student loans in bankruptcy and refinance both federal and private loans at current interest rates. This bill would also increase the maximum Pell Grant award to $9,410, indexed annually for inflation, and would restore year-round Pell, while allowing institutions to assign crossover periods and without an acceleration component.

 

Relief and Investment for Student Entrepreneurs (RISE) Act
HR 6250 Sponsor:
Rep. Gallego (D-AZ, 7)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
9/28/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill offers a three-year interest-free deferment period for federal student loans to "qualified entrepreneurs." The bill also allows entrepreneurs who start businesses in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones) to receive up to $17,500 in Direct Loan forgiveness.

 

*NEW* Student Borrower Higher Education Lending Protection (HELP) Act
HR 6446 Sponsor:
Rep. Pallone (D-NJ, 6)
Co-Sponsors:
5 (0 R; 5 D)
Introduced:
12/06/2016
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill includes three provisions relating to private lending. The bill would require total loan forgiveness for a borrower with a permanent disability or for a family member who is a cosigner of a loan taken out by a student who later dies. In addition, the bill requires deferment of loan payments for borrowers with a temporary disability. Finally, the bill requires private lenders to disclose their default rates on loan documents. 

  

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Publication Date: 1/1/2017


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