LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford wants Congress to provide relief for all student loan borrowers impacted by COVID-19.
The CARES Act only covers student loans through the federal government.
Now, AG Ford and other attorney generals are asking lawmakers to expand the loan relief to help the nearly 8 million borrowers who have loans that are held by schools or financial institutions.
In the letter, the coalition urges the Senate to provide the same relief currently available to borrowers whose federal student loans are owned by the federal government, including a temporary suspension of payments, a 0% interest rate, and the suspension of involuntary collections.
The coalition also calls for the relief measures to apply retroactively if borrowers have already made payments.
The attorneys general state that members of the Senate can support added relief as part of a stand-alone bill – the Student Loan Fairness Act, S.4237 – recently introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Jack Reed of Rhode Island, or as part of the larger coronavirus relief package currently being debated in the Senate.
In addition, recognizing that the effects pandemic will be long-lasting, the coalition calls on Congress to implement longer-term solutions for struggling borrowers. Such measures include extending the temporary suspension of payments past Sept. 30, 2020 and requiring student loan servicers to evaluate borrowers for income-driven repayment plans once they resume payments.
In addition to Nevada, attorneys general from the following states joined the letter: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
A copy of the brief can be found here.