ED Announces Fourth Neg Reg Session to Provide Debt Relief for Borrowers Facing Financial Hardships

By Maria Carrasco, NASFAA Staff Reporter

The Department of Education (ED) on Wednesday announced that it will be hosting another negotiated rulemaking session – known as neg reg – specifically focused on how the department can provide student loan debt relief to borrowers facing financial hardships. 

During the rulemaking session on student loan debt relief in December, non-federal negotiators expressed frustration with the department for not releasing any draft regulatory text aimed at providing relief for borrowers experiencing financial hardships — a subset of borrowers that ED initially stated it was looking to provide relief for. At the conclusion of that final session, non-federal negotiators pressed ED to convene another session. 

At the time, ED would not commit to holding another session, stating that they needed additional time. Since then, advocacy groups and lawmakers have called on the department to hold another session focused on the issue of hardship. 

In Wednesday’s announcement the department said that the upcoming session, devoted exclusively to the issue of financial hardship, will take place virtually on February 22 and 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. There will also be a period for public comment each day during the session, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET. 

According to ED, draft regulatory text on this issue will be provided to negotiators and the public at least a week in advance. Links to register to watch the new session will be posted on ED’s website

“The Biden-Harris administration will never stop working to deliver student debt relief for borrowers,” Under Secretary James Kvaal said in a statement. “We look forward to discussing another avenue for borrower relief related to hardship at our next negotiation session.”


Publication Date: 2/1/2024

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