New Swalwell Bill Would Help Borrowers Better Understand and Repay Student Loans

July 15, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) on Thursday introduced the Know Your Repayment Options Act to better serve nearly 42 million federal student loan borrowers. Swalwell introduced this bill with seven other members of the Future Forum.

The federal government offers a number of different student loan repayment plans, each with its own set of monthly payment options and payment periods. The Know Your Repayment Options Act would direct the Department of Education to inform all federal student loan borrowers of all their repayment options on a yearly basis, with information particularized for each individual, so borrowers can pick the plan that works best for them.

“Student loan borrowers who know all of their repayment options can choose the one that best suits them,” said Swalwell. “And choosing the best plan means they are more likely to avoid defaulting on those loans, or getting into other financial trouble. With more than 42 million past and present U.S. students now carrying more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, giving them annual reminders of how best to repay their debt seems like the least we can do.”

Specifically, the yearly update required by H.R. 5898 would tell borrowers their average anticipated monthly payment amount, yearly payment amount, lifetime payment amount, number of months remaining to pay off loans, and amount that would be forgiven under all possible repayment plans. It would also supply the borrower with instructions to switch plans if he or she determines that another option may be better.

Swalwell founded and is chairman of Future Forum, a group of 18 young House Democrats that has engaged with thousands of millennials across the nation on the issues most important to them. Student loan debt consistently ranks high among the concerns of millennials, who now are the largest and most diverse generation in U.S. history.

The bill’s original co-sponsors are Grace Meng (NY-6), Brendan Boyle (PA-13), Seth Moulton (MA-6), Derek Kilmer (WA-6), Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8), Marc Veasey (TX-33), and Ted Lieu (CA-33).