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Press Releases

October 6, 2021
“These new Public Service Loan Forgiveness standards will allow hundreds of thousands of Americans to finally access the promised loan forgiveness they earned after working for years in their communities and making their agreed-upon repayments,” said Whitney Barkley-Denney, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. “While more needs to be done, it is encouraging that this Department of Education listened to borrowers and advocates and made much-needed reforms to address some of the failures of the program.” ### Press Contacts: Alfred King alfred.king@...
August 12, 2021
Washington, D.C. — The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) issued a new joint policy brief revealing that almost two-thirds (63%) of student loan borrowers enrolled in Income-Driven Repayment Plans (IDR) serviced by Navient who made voluntary loan payments during the COVID-19 federal student loan payment pause are underwater—unable to repay even $1 of their original loan balance. Of the borrowers who are underwater, one-third owe more than 125% of their original balance, despite making at least one payment during the payment pause enacted by the...
August 9, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The U.S. Department of Education announced its support of state laws and regulations addressing student loan servicing issues. This action reverses and corrects the anti-borrower position of the previous Administration, which attempted to block state governments from protecting their borrowers against predatory behavior by student loan servicers. Center for Responsible Lending Senior Policy Counsel Whitney Barkley-Denney made the following statement: We are pleased the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid office have acknowledged the importance of...
August 6, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced its final extension of the federal student loan repayment forbearance, which includes the suspension of interest accrual and collections activity through January 2022. The previous deadline was September 30th, 2021. Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Federal Advocacy Director and Senior Counsel Ashley Harrington released the following statement: The pandemic-induced economic crisis dealt a body blow to the personal finances of American families, especially for communities of color. The extension of the federal student...
July 29, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the leadership of Independence University told its faculty the school will close on August 1 in an email that also instructed recipients not to inform students and borrowers of the closure. Independence U. Lays Off Staff, Says Feds Stopped Aid | Republic Report Independence University announced to its staff this week that they would be laid off in the next 60 days because the school lost accreditation and federal funding, but claimed the school would stay open. Enrolling about 7,000 students, it is the last remaining college operated by the Center for Excellence...
July 21, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), New America’s Higher Education Program, and Veterans Education Success (VES) submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Education opposing the proposed acquisition of Walden University by Adtalem, a corporation that operates for-profit educational institutions. Adtalem has reached agreement to acquire Walden from another for-profit operator, Laureate Education. The Department gave preliminary approval for the change of...
July 9, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – One of the largest student loan debt servicers, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority (PHEAA), announced Thursday that it would no longer service student loans when its contract with the federal government ends in December. PHEAA, which operates as FedLoan Servicing, services student loans for about 8.5 million borrowers, representing approximately 20 percent of all federal student loan borrowers. Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Senior Policy Counsel Whitney Barkley-Denney issued the following statement: The student debt repayment system in...
June 21, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has updated and corrected how student debt is calculated for FHA-insured mortgages. This move will expand access to homeownership for more potential mortgage borrowers, especially for borrowers of color, first-time homebuyers, millennials, and low-income Americans. “This change removes an unjust and unjustifiable barrier to homeownership. The policy extends the opportunity to build generational wealth to more Black and Latino and low-income families as...
April 13, 2021
Washington, D.C. — Today, over 415 organizations sent an updated letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris, calling on them to use executive authority to cancel federal student debt immediately. In the letter, the 416 advocacy groups highlight that cancelling student debt would stimulate the economy, help reduce racial wealth gaps, and could have a positive impact on health outcomes. The groups write that “executive action is one of the few available tools that could immediately provide a boost to upwards of 44 million borrowers and the economy.” Further, this action would be an...
March 18, 2021
Borrower Bill of Rights Would Provide Oversight of Loan Servicers St. Paul, MN — A student debt crisis of epic proportions is causing stress and strain for Minnesotans who are struggling to repay their loans and putting off other bills, according to a Morning Consult survey commissioned by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and Education Minnesota (EDMN). Three-quarters of respondents report stress from their student loans, and results indicate that student loan servicers are not providing crucial information to help borrowers manage their payments. From the survey:...

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