Hawaii Attorney General Urges U.S. Secretary Of Education To Do More Tackling Student Loan Crisis
Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors today joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general who sent a letter to US Secretary of Education Dr Miguel Cardona urging further reforms to facilitate the process student loan repayment and protect student loan borrowers from paying down debt for for-profit and deceased colleges.
“The student loan crisis requires a thoughtful response that emphasizes student aid,” Attorney General Connors said. “Reforms are needed to make it easier for students in our community to pay what they owe, without disrupting their lives. “
The coalition, led by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, urged Secretary Cardona to consider several policy measures that would help student loan borrowers, including:
- Continue the policy of suspending student loan repayments and waiving interest for as long as necessary to support troubled borrowers;
- Pursue the policy of suspending involuntary collection activities, as well as allowing suspended payments to count for both the delivery of civil service loans and the delivery of the Income-Based Repayment Plan (IDR);
- Pass reforms so that student loan borrowers can access and stay in the IDR plans to which they are entitled, allowing borrowers to have more affordable monthly payments, avoid the serious consequences of default and obtain cancellation of the loan, if applicable; and
- Enforce the paid employment requirement of the Higher Education Act, which would protect borrowers from for-profit programs that do not prepare students for a career.
The letter applauded the ministry’s actions on March 30 to extend pandemic protections to private loans. Attorneys General also welcomed President Biden’s commitment to consider using the executive branch to cancel student debt, saying, “… we urge that any debt forgiveness apply to all federal loans, including federal family education loans; and non-departmental Perkins loans. … For many students in debt, the current system is very complex and difficult to manage. This is an unnecessary source of great anxiety and is simply unfair. We can and must do better. “
The coalition also includes the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey and New -Mexico. New York, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
A copy of the letter is available here.