NAICU Washington Update

Protecting Student Loan Borrowers Focus of Senate Hearing

July 30, 2021

The Subcommittee on Economic Policy of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held its second hearing regarding the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), following up on a previous hearing held in April. 

The primary focus of this week’s hearing was on PSLF and the current student loan repayment pause. In her opening statement, Subcommittee Chair Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) emphasized that President Biden should extend the student loan repayment pause until March of 2022, forgive $50,000 in student loan debt, and rebuild the student loan system.

Witnesses who testified included Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, Persis Yu, director of the Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project at the National Consumer Law Center, and Letitia James, Attorney General of the State of New York.

Sen. Warren also said in her statement that PSLF isn’t working for borrowers and needs to be fixed. Her comments set the tone for the hearing with all three witnesses and all Senators who attended the hearing echoing the same sentiments. While both Republicans and Democrats are looking into the issues discussed in the hearing, no Republicans were in attendance. 

Earlier this week, the Department issued a request for information for written public comments, including information, research, and suggestions regarding the administration of the PSLF program. The Department hopes to use the feedback to improve the PSLF program, including program access, operations, borrower experiences and policy changes. Comments are due September 24, 2021.

MORE News from NAICU