Jan. 29, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Investing Student Loan Profits in Borrower Education | Commentary

Imagine the positive impact on our nations student loan delinquency problem if we implemented that line of attack across the board and focused on prevention instead of the cure of collections. Such an approach would lessen the overall cost of the federal student loan program because more default prevention means fewer fees that need to be paid by the government on student loan collections. This saves a borrowers credit and saves the federal government money. A win-win.

Lawmakers reauthorizing the Higher Education Act should look to divert some of the profit from the federal student loan program to expanded financial literacy and debt management programs that will stop student loan delinquency before it can even set in. Lets help student loan borrowers understand a repayment landscape dotted with jargon, bureaucracy, and payment plans with distressingly similar names but very different benefits and outcomes. Lets give them an advocate wholl take the time with phone calls, online chats and/or multiple e-mail exchanges to examine their whole financial picture and help them find the best long-term payment solution. Simply put, as long as our nations higher education policy relies on loans to provide college access and choice, lets give our student loan borrowers what they deserve.

Paul Combe is president and CEO of American Student Assistance.

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