Text of the letter available here (PDF)
Washington, DC - In a letter sent today, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), along with Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) urged the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and its Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) to make reforms to federal student loan servicing to better protect borrowers. The letter comes as ED begins a new competition for the next round of student loan servicing contracts.
The senators highlighted ongoing failures of federal student loan servicing, explaining, "An astounding eight million borrowers are in default. These statistics reflect that poor customer service and shoddy student loan servicing practices are contributing to many borrowers unnecessarily struggling with their student loans. It's time for this to change."
The letter identifies steps that ED and FSA should take to improve student loan servicing, including:
"Student loan servicers are a critical link between borrowers and the Department of Education. With about one in four student loan borrowers in default or delinquent on their federal student loans, it is critical that the Department step up to address the student debt crisis and ensure that all service providers in the student loan program are doing everything they can to put students and families first," wrote the senators.