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Herrera Beutler Reintroduces Bipartisan Bill to Help Student Loan Borrowers

Legislation would increase transparency in student loan disclosures

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) reintroduced the Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act last week, co-led by U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (VA-07).

The bill was cosponsored by Representatives Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Michael Waltz (FL-06), Angie Craig (MN-02), Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon (PR), Greg Stanton (AZ-09), Kim Schrier (WA-08), and John Rutherford (FL-04).

This bipartisan legislation requires that student borrowers who apply for and accept federal student loans receive a separate monthly loan disclosure statement with information on projected payments, accrued interest, total cost of attendance, and other personalized details in easy and understandable terms.

“Students who choose to further their education deserve simplicity and transparency in the student loan process. The lack of clarity around student loans today is contributing to this nation’s student loan debt crisis, and it’s why I’m leading bipartisan legislation to address this issue. This bill will help set up Southwest Washington students for success by empowering them to make the best decisions for their educational and financial future,” Herrera Beutler.

“Students who attend college are making an enormous investment in their futures and the long-term strength of their communities. Unfortunately, too many Central Virginia students and graduates are crippled by the weight of their student loan debt. This financial burden stunts their ability to buy a home, start a business, and pursue their career goals. I’m proud to help reintroduce this bipartisan bill, which is an important first step toward delivering the transparency that borrowers need to take control of their financial future and make informed, responsible decisions. Particularly as we focus on rebuilding our economy in the wake of COVID-19, we can and should do more to equip our young people with the tools they need to work, invest, and thrive across our Central Virginia communities,” Spanberger said.

“For many young adults, the student loan process is confusing and overwhelming. When considering their loan options, college students are making decisions that will have major impacts on their financial future. This legislation will help students better understand borrowing commitments by requiring clear and transparent guidance throughout the loan application process,” Rutherford said.

“Students are having to rely on loans more and more to pay for a college education, and these loans are a long-term commitment. Student borrowers need to get all of the information, every time, to make sure they are making an educated decision, in particular about monthly repayment costs and the forgivability of some student loans. This legislation will help make that a reality,” Schrier said.

“When students sign on the dotted line to attend college, few of them understand the significance of their student loan choices and the role they’ll play in their financial future. I believe that with more education and transparency surrounding the student loan process, students will make wiser financial decisions that will in turn promote a fiscally responsible lifestyle. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill, and I hope for the sake of our students’ financial futures that it will become law soon,” Johnson said.

“For generations, young Americans have carried the burden of crippling student loan debt, keeping them from investing in their futures long after graduation. To stop this cycle, borrowers must fully understand the financial commitment they’re making. That’s why I’m proud to join my colleagues in support of this legislation to encourage a more transparent student loan borrowing process to help borrowers receive the tools they need to take control of their futures,” Waltz said.

“Higher education is an important investment, but too many Arizona students and families take on loans without fully understanding the repayment terms—an issue that has left many young people struggling under the weight of their debt. This common-sense bill injects much-needed transparency into the student loan process and empowers students to take control of their education and financial future,” Stanton said.

“Minnesotans who choose to pursue a degree are investing in themselves – pursuing a degree that they hope will open up a world of opportunity for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, with the skyrocketing cost of college tuition, many of our hardworking students are saddled with huge amounts of debt that they don’t fully understand or know how to pay back. The future leaders of tomorrow should not be discouraged from pursuing an education because of the complexities of the student loan process. I’m proud to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation to ensure transparency in the borrowing process and to ensure our students can take control of their financial futures,” Craig said.

The Higher Education Act (HEA) currently requires disclosures at three points: disbursement, at or prior to repayment, and during repayment. The Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act would improve transparency across the entire life of the loan while a borrower attends college and during any period of repayment, deferment, forbearance, or delinquency.