Swalwell leads Future Forum letter applauding stricter standards for student loan servicers

October 16, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) sent a letter with nine Members of the Future Forum to the Department of Education, the Treasury and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to express support for their recent announcement of guiding principles to ensure industry-wide standards on private student loan servicers that will better hold the companies accountable and protect borrowers. The Future Forum is a group of 17 young Democratic Members of Congress committed to issues facing millennials, including reducing student loan debt. 

“There are 40 million student loan borrowers in the U.S., many of whom deal with multiple student loan servicing companies through the lifetime of their loans,” said Swalwell, who personally has more than $100,000 in student loan debt. “If the student loan services are not acting in the best interest of students, they must be held accountable. I have unfortunately heard too many stories from constituents about student loan servicers withholding information or charging unjust late fees that make these actions all too necessary.  I am proud to join my Future Forum colleagues to commend this step by the Department of Education, Treasury and CFPB and fight for the interests of student borrowers.”

Student loan debt now exceeds $1.2 trillion. Much of the federal debt is serviced not by the federal government, but by 11 different companies making a profit. Servicing companies are making over $600 million a year in contracts with the Department of Education.  Due to a lack of federal regulations and standards, some borrowers can fall victim to malpractice, poor customer service, and even illegal actions.

“To be clear, Congress must pass meaningful legislation to truly address our national student loan debt crisis. Until Republican leadership will bring legislation to a vote, we support these steps to protect student borrowers and reign in the abuses of the companies profiting off them,” added Swalwell.

Swalwell was joined on the letter by Future Forum Reps. Derek Kilmer (WA), Patrick Murphy (FL), Jared Polis (CO), Tulsi Gabbard (HI), Ruben Gallego (AZ), Seth Moulton (MA), Marc Veasey (TX), Brendan Boyle (PA), and Pete Aguilar (CA). The letter can be viewed here.