Cantwell Urges Secretary DeVos to Protect Students, Reverse Student Loan Decisions

Over 150 Members of Congress highlight concerns surrounding Secretary DeVos’ decision to change the federal student loan servicing contract process

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined a group of over 150 Members of Congress to send a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos highlighting concerns surrounding the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to make changes to the student loan servicing contract procurement process and remove key requirements that were intended to support and protect student loan borrowers and help them repay their loans. The Members of Congress also cited concerns with Secretary DeVos’ decision to give all $880 million in annual federal student loan servicing contract funding to a single company, a move that could create an unresponsive and “too big to fail” student loan system that would produce poorer results for both borrowers and taxpayers.

“We have serious concerns that these changes, coupled with the previous rescission of policy, will actively harm borrowers and ultimately put taxpayers at risk,” wrote the Members of Congress. “The revised procurement threatens to increase rates of delinquency and default, degrade the quality of customer service, and make it harder for borrowers to manage their federal loans. We also fear these policy choices will significantly undermine the ability of the Department to hold loan servicers more accountable.”

In April, more than 130 Members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary DeVos urging her to reverse a decision to rescind Obama-era protections for student loan servicing contracts. The reforms had included new consumer protections for borrowers and improvements to the quality of federal loan servicing. A coalition of 21 state attorneys general also opposed the decision to weaken student loan servicing reforms.

A copy of the letter can be found here.