Target: Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education
Goal: Uphold the Obama administration’s decision of limiting the fees imposed by debt collectors on student loans.
Loan firms can now charge a predatory 16 percent fee on student debt, putting many recent and long-term graduates in financial distress. Thanks to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the Obama administration’s decision to limit some fees imposed by debt collectors to borrowers was recently rolled back. The so-called guaranty agencies can resume harassing in-default debtors, with no mandatory requirement to accept payment plans that allow them to overcome debt and rebuild their ruined credit. Secretary DeVos’ irresponsible ruling not only hurts the economy but also raises questions about conflict of interests. The ruling is a clear demonstration that the lending industry and private education have been favored at the expense of public good.
Federal student loan default is dragging on the economy. Extremely high tuition and other college-related fees make higher education inaccessible to the majority of the American population. Once a means to a likely prosperous future, student loans have morphed into a burden and that many people carry for decades. Young adults’ ability to fully participate in the economy is severely hindered by their financial obligations to debt collectors. Predatory practices have become the rule in the lending industry, and numerous complaints of illegal activity in the field have been filed over the years.
Restricting the misconduct of the loan industry was a smart decision of the Obama administration, and it is outrageous that a government would put financial sharks’ interests above the sake of those who just want a better education. It is also very troubling that DeVos’ recent memorandum will mean an additional $15 million in annual revenue for a company with ties to Taylor Hanson, a former for-profit college lobbyist and former higher education adviser to DeVos. Since DeVos’ confirmation as secretary of education, a concern for the future of public education in America has been in the air. The release of the strings attached to the loan firms confirms that prospects are not good for students, teachers, and other professionals in public education. Sign the petition to guarantee that limitations to lending industry are kept in place and that students have a chance to a future without debts.
Dear Secretary DeVos,
I urge you to maintain Obama-era regulations on student loans, including limiting borrowers’ fees and requiring loan firms to accept payment plans that allow borrowers to overcome their debt. Federal student loans are limiting the flourish of our economy by leading to lifetime financial burden, and it is irresponsible that your office contributes to such a drag on the country.
It is also very troubling that one of the most immediate beneficiaries of your recent decision is the United Student Aid Funds Inc., the nation’s largest guaranty agency and a firm connected to your former adviser Taylor Hansen. Education should be a right and accessible to everyone, and I insist that you and your team keep this principle in mind, rather than favor the lending industry.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sarah Mirk