**Shaheen’s Bill would Give Students Access to Comprehensive Online Database to Manage Debt & Better Navigate Repayment**
**Americans Owe More than $1.5 Trillion in Student Loan Debt – Surpassing Total Credit Card Debt**
(Washington, DC) – This week, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) reintroduced the Simplifying Access to Student Loan Information Act, which calls for the development of a central online portal to allow students to review all their public and private student loans as well as repayment options in one place. This would help students better manage, understand and repay their debt.
“Higher education is one of the best investments we can make to keep our country a magnet for jobs and economic success. But with skyrocketing costs, those opportunities are more and more out of reach with each passing generation. College affordability demands our attention – and action – now,” said Shaheen. “This requires a comprehensive approach that should include helping students understand and manage their debt after they graduate – that’s what this bill does. My legislation would give students in New Hampshire and across the country important tools to understand their debt and develop a plan to pay off their loans.”
Ken Ferreira, Past President of the New Hampshire Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators said, “I wholeheartedly concur with Senator Shaheen---a central repository that contains student loan debt from both federal and non-federal sources is essential for not only students to understand the amount in which they owe from all sources, but also for financial aid administrators to assist them with understanding their repayment options on the whole. I am grateful to the Senator for her continued support and advocacy for New Hampshire college students.”
Nationally, Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion in student debt. According to a 2018 report by the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), New Hampshire ranked as one of the highest debt states with 76 percent of Granite Staters graduating with student debt, of which the average debt level was approximately $36,776.
Specifically, the Simplifying Access to Student Loan Information Act would amend the Higher Education Act and the Truth in Lending Act to expand the National Student Loan Data System to include comprehensive student loan information for both private and public student loans. Currently, only federal student loan information is available within the database. Shaheen’s legislation would create a virtual one-stop shop where students and borrowers can better manage their debt and gain easier, more comprehensive access to debt and repayment options.
Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to help students manage their debt and to make college more affordable, championing legislation to increase access to higher education for Granite Staters. Shaheen introduced the bipartisan Student Protection and Success Act, legislation to curb skyrocketing student debt by increasing higher education institutions’ accountability for their students’ ability to repay their loans. Last year, Shaheen worked with a group of lawmakers to introduce the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow undergraduate borrowers repaying public or private loans to refinance those loans at lower interest rates, reducing monthly payments and helping borrowers repay loans sooner. In April, Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation with Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Braun (R-IN) and Fischer (R-NE) to combat student debt relief scams. Shaheen also worked with Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and former Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) to reintroduce legislation that would provide tax relief for AmeriCorps members who earn federal Segal Education Awards. And in May, Shaheen joined a group of lawmakers to introduce bicameral legislation that would give hard-working Granite Staters and Americans overwhelmed by debt the option of obtaining meaningful bankruptcy relief that includes student loan debt.
The full text of the Simplifying Access to Student Loan Information Act is available here.