WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), author of the Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights Act, called on student loan servicers across the country to take action to help ensure that members of the armed forces and veterans have access to the benefits that they have earned and the protections to which they are entitled.
Durbin urged servicers to voluntarily implement a provision of his Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights Act that would require all federal and private student loan servicers to establish a Servicemember and Veterans Liaison to answer questions from members of the U.S. military and veterans about their benefits and loan repayment options.
Durbin’s letter comes following the Department of Justice’s announcement yesterday that the agency would pursue enforcement actions against loan servicer Sallie Mae, which was found to be systematically violating the legal rights of members of the U.S. military.
“Student loan servicers can and should do more to ensure our armed forces are provided the information they need to make educated decisions about repayment options,” Durbin wrote. “By voluntarily establishing a Servicemember and Veteran Liaison position, you can set a strong example of your dedication to looking out for the financial well-being of the men and women who have served our country.”
In December, Durbin, and U.S. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced the Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights Act to ensure that all struggling student loan borrowers are treated fairly by student loan servicers and understand the full range of repayment options and resources available to them. More information on the legislation is available here.
Durbin has also introduced legislation to fix a provision in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) – created in 1940 – that unintentionally discourages members of the armed forces from consolidating or refinancing pre-service student loans. More information on the Servicemember Student Loan Affordability Act is available here.