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Kildee Unveils Bill to Provide Relief to Michigan Student Loan Borrowers

February 19, 2021
Press Release
LOAN Act Would Provide Relief During Pandemic to Students With Private Education Loans

FLINT—Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, has introduced new legislation, the Lenders Offer Assistance Now (LOAN) Act, to protect student borrowers with privately-held student loans.

In the CARES Act, Congress provided a six-month pause of federal student loan payments and interest accruements, which President Biden extended through September 2021. However, there are millions of student borrowers with privately-held federal loans or private loans that are not eligible for this relief. 

The LOAN Act would help some of the most vulnerable student loan borrowers by: 

  1. Permitting borrowers to discharge private and federal education loans in bankruptcy; 
  2. Requiring private student loan lenders to discharge a loan if the student experiences a total and permanent disability; and 
  3. Prohibiting private educational lenders from accelerating repayment upon the disability of a cosigner. 

Congressman Kildee announced his legislation today at a membership meeting with the Michigan Association on Higher Education and Disability (MI-AHEAD). In addition to announcing his legislation, he also discussed the needs of institutions of higher education and their students during the pandemic. 

“Too many hardworking students and families in Michigan are held back by the increasing burden of student loan debt,” Congressman Kildee said. “Unfortunately, the pandemic has only exacerbated the student loan crisis in America. We must offer help to students and families with private student loans, who have been left out of other forms of relief.”  

“As we work with college professionals and disabled students across the country, AHEAD appreciates the efforts of Congressman Kildee in addressing challenges of disabled students and their families. We want all students to graduate and have meaningful employment, but there are times when that is not possible. The LOAN Act is a sensible measure whose time has come – those students and families need extra support, not extra financial burdens,” said Stephan Smith, Executive Director of the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD). 

In addition to Congressman Kildee, Reps. André Carson (IN-07), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Ed Perlmutter (CO-07), Juan Vargas (CA-51) are cosponsors of the LOAN Act.

The LOAN Act is endorsed by American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD), National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), National Education Association (NEA) and Young Invincibles.

Congressman Kildee has been working tirelessly for students, student borrowers and students with disabilities. Last Congress, he cosponsored the Accessibile Instructional Materials in Higher Education (AIM HIGH) Act, which would develop guidelines for postsecondary electronic instructional materials to ensure they are accessible for students with disabilities.