Burr, King release discussion draft of federal student loan repayment bill

Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Angus King (I-Maine) recently released a discussion draft of legislation that would reform federal student loan repayment programs and establish a single income-based repayment option.

The discussion draft aims to simplify the federal student loan repayment program, which has been modified through ad hoc changes and expansions made without congressional approval.

“Sen. King and I are introducing this discussion draft instead of legislation so we can receive feedback from the public – student borrowers, our congressional colleagues, experts in the field or anyone else who can bring to the table thoughtful discussion on how to best help our students,” Burr said. “I understand how daunting it can be to finish school and face the uncertainty of unemployment, on top of the anxiety of how to repay student loans. It is my hope that we will receive robust feedback in the coming months to better this draft and inform Congress as we begin Higher Education Act reauthorization efforts.”

Under provisions outlined in the discussion draft, the streamlined income-based repayment program would take effect in July 2015. Loan balance forgiveness would be available after 20 or 25 years, or after 10 years for individuals eligible for public service loan forgiveness.

“Student borrowers already have more than enough to worry about after they graduate without having to wrap their heads around the confusing maze of federal loan repayment options,” King said. “That’s why Sen. Burr and I are offering this discussion draft as a concrete first step towards simplifying these programs. Students ought to be able to easily navigate their options, make a choice that best serves their needs, and keep money in their pockets. I look forward to hearing feedback from students, parents, my colleagues and experts across the country as we look at ways to improve college affordability in America.”