The Fairness for Struggling Students Act

Recently, Senators Dick Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Al Franken introduced legislation that would permit private student loan debt to be dischargeable in bankruptcy court.  The bill, S. 3219: The Fairness for Struggling Students Act in the Senate, would allow debt-ridden students a chance to reclaim their lives.

"This legislation ends the special treatment private student lenders have enjoyed for years at the financial and personal expense of debt-ridden college graduates," said United States Student Association President Gregory Cendana.  "If a struggling individual can file for bankruptcy on their home, credit card, or even gambling debts, then why not student loans?  This is an anomaly in bankruptcy law that arbitrarily treats student borrowers worse than other types of borrowers."

Reforming student loan repayment laws is critical.  Even with recent improvements to the federal Income-Based Repayment program, there is still an estimated 730 billion dollars in outstanding federal and private student loan debt in the United States, with only 40 percent being actively repaid.  The rest is in default or deferment, resulting in plummeting credit and huge sums of interest for borrowers.

Private student loans have not been dischargeable in bankruptcy court since 2005, leading to a recent hike in student loan debt, which today averages nearly 25 thousand dollars. USSA will be advocating for this and other measures to make college more accessible and affordable for all.

Please implore your Senators to support this bill.