The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill that would end the use of student loan forgiveness and allow students to use federal tax credits to refinance their student loans.
The bipartisan bill, which was crafted by Sens.
Rand Sanders and Ted Cruz, is intended to help students avoid defaulting on their student debt.
President Donald Trump, who has used student loan debt to justify his agenda, has touted the bill as a step toward reducing student debt for Americans who owe more than $200,000.
But the GOP’s new student loan proposal would not affect borrowers who owe less than $40,000, meaning those who are still working and paying off their student debts are unaffected.
This bill is a first step in the right direction, said Sanders, who is also the head of the Senate Budget Committee.
We are working on bipartisan legislation that will make it easier for students to refortify their student loan balances, which are estimated to be $18 trillion.
“This is a big deal, and it is a step forward for the American people,” Sanders said.
Democrats have said that the bill is not designed to help borrowers facing default, which could be a problem if it goes into effect.
Instead, Sanders said the bill would help those students who owe at least $40 for a student loan, but who would otherwise be unable to refinances their debt.
The legislation would also help borrowers who are currently working and are not in school, but could use the tax credits.
The Sanders-Cruz bill would also allow borrowers who would like to reframe their loan to refinancing their debt to do so by Jan. 1, 2021.
The Sanders-Ryan bill would only allow borrowers to refit their loans by Dec. 31, 2021, though both would have more time to refunge their debt with the use the federal tax credit.
Students could refinance up to $10,000 in federal student loans annually, and could use up to a $1,000 credit for up to 50% of their payments.
Sanders-Ryan legislation would allow borrowers with at least three borrowers to use the credit and would allow them to refuit their federal student loan payments by paying their debt in full, instead of paying it off over time.
With the tax credit, students could also refinance the interest on up to 100% of federal student student loans over a 12-month period.
The bill also would provide more information about the benefits of the credit.
The bill would give the Secretary of Education, in consultation with the Federal Reserve Bank, a one-time opportunity to assess borrowers’ loan and other financial information, to assess whether borrowers would be able to refinitize their federal loan balances.
In a letter to Sanders and Cruz, the Department of Education said that while the bill does not explicitly prohibit student loan refinancing, it would provide an opportunity for borrowers to receive loan refinancings if they do not currently refinance federal student debt or if their student-loan debt is significantly overpayment.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-race/2603145-sen-rand-paul-senate-rand