Students and parents of young people are increasingly worried about their student loans.
The federal government will no longer be able to consolidate their student debt with the government’s Guaranteed Issue Loan (GOL), the companies said in a letter published on Wednesday.
The letter by the Student Loan Forgiveness Information Center (SLIC) said that under the proposal, students who default on their loans will have to pay back the difference between what they earned and the amount they owe on their student loan.
“Student loan debt consolidation programs that consolidate student loan debt are designed to provide a smooth transition for borrowers, their parents, and lenders, so that they are not forced to choose between paying back the loan and paying off their student debts,” SLIC said.
“While student loan consolidation programs are not perfect, we believe they are a good start to addressing student debt and helping students pay down their student indebtedness.”
The student loan restructuring proposal comes after the US Education Department (USED) announced a plan to reduce student loan defaults by 40% by 2021.
It aims to make consolidation more attractive for students and help the USED meet its goal of reducing student debt by 50% by 2025.
Under the proposed plan, the US Department of Education will begin consolidating the Federal Perkins Loans, PLUS Loans, and Stafford Loans with the Government Guaranteed Loan, and the Federal Stafford Loans, Stafford Loans and Stafford Consolidation Programs with the Federal Government Guarantee Loan.
The proposed consolidation is expected to be complete by December 2020.
A statement by SLIC also said that the student debt restructuring plan “could increase student loan default rates by 50-75%, potentially putting tens of millions of borrowers into default.”
The letter also said there is no evidence to suggest that consolidation would have a negative impact on student loan borrowers, and that students who are already in default should be encouraged to participate in the program.
“Students who have not taken advantage of student loan consolidations have no incentive to take advantage of consolidation, and could be left with more debt than they would have been without the consolidation program,” SLic said.