Kildee amendment passes to protect student loan borrowers

WASHINGTON — Congressman Dan Kildee (MI- 05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded action in the U.S. House of Representatives to expand protections for student loan borrowers, including borrowers whose ability to repay their private student loans is affected by a major disaster or emergency such as a tornado or drinking water crisis.

The Comprehensive CREDIT Act would require a credit reporting agency to remove a delinquent or defaulted private education loan on a borrower’s consumer report if they have shown a good history of loan repayment for 10 consecutive months after the delinquency or default. For borrowers living in an area impacted by a major disaster or emergency, Congressman Kildee’s amendment would provide a six-month grace period for an interruption in their 10 consecutive months of loan repayment to preserve their credit score. The amendment would also expand the six-month grace period to those working in an area impacted by a major disaster or emergency, as opposed to only those living in those areas.

“In 2016, due to no fault of their own, the people of Flint experienced a drinking water emergency. People were not able to access safe drinking water, so they should not be penalized by having their credit score lowered for not being able to payback their student loans,” Congressman Kildee said. “Right now, Michiganders are experiencing a student loan debt crisis. This has delayed young people from making critical investments in their future like buying a house, starting a family or saving for their children to go to college. My amendment and the underlying bill will help decrease the burden of student loans on Michiganders, especially those living in areas impacted by emergencies and natural disasters.”

Congressman Kildee has been working to protect student loans borrowers since being elected to Congress. He is a proud cosponsor of the College Affordability Act, which makes student loans cheaper and provides student loan debt relief, especially for those defrauded by predatory, for-profit institutions. Most recently, the Congressman voted in favor of legislation to protect defrauded students and taxpayers by blocking the U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ Borrower Defense Rule from going into effect. — G.G.