SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)– The Student Aid Bill of Rights is President Obama’s latest effort to improve the student lending experience. The measure is not a cure all, but it’s a start.
Under the plan, students will still owe the same amount of debt but Kelly Field from the Chronicle Of Higher Education says it will “make it easier to manage that debt and to file complaints if they feel their loans are not being handled fairly.”
One common customer complaint is that loans are sold and transferred frequently, resulting in more than one servicer handling the paperwork, which is often lost. The student is unable to keep track of the loan and ends up in default. Once that happens, debt collectors step in. That’s another area ripe for complaints as collectors increasingly use aggressive tactics against consumers. The new bill should help in both situations.
However, he plan does not restore bankruptcy protections to student loans. Field says the new bill only calls for studying the issue.
The Department of Education has some authority in discharging student loans but rarely uses that authority, even though some consumer advocates have been leaning on the agency to get more involved.
But some critics argue this bill will not solve the underlying problem that tuition costs are continuing to rise, putting pressure on kids to take out large loans in the first place. The national student debt tally has grown to $1.3 trillion and the average student graduates more than $29 thousand dollars in debt.