Local congressman targets student debt

Swalwell co-authors bills on loan forgiveness, repayment plan updates

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) took aim at improving the debt situation for Americans working to repay federal student loans with two new bills he introduced with colleagues in Congress last week.

One bill would allow federal student-loan borrowers working in public service positions to receive new loan deferment and forgiveness opportunities, while the other would require the federal government to alert borrowers about all of their repayment options each year.

Both pieces of proposed legislation were introduced July 14 by Swalwell and fellow members of the Future Forum -- a group founded by Swalwell consisting of 18 young House Democrats to focus on issues most relevant to millennials, such as student loan debt.

The first bill, the "Strengthening Forgiveness for Public Servants Act," is companion legislation to Senate Bill 2463, introduced in January by two Democratic senators aiming to enhance the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and encourage recent college graduates to work in public service.

The federal program offers student loan forgiveness to teachers, police officers, public health workers and other public servants, allowing those qualified borrowers who make full, scheduled monthly payments for 10 years while employed full-time in eligible public service positions to have their remaining Federal Direct Loan balance canceled.

The new bill strives to expand the program by offering additional options to working public servants.

The proposal would allow eligible public employees with outstanding Federal Direct Loan debt to apply to have their student loans deferred while they work in public service as well as have a percentage of their federal loan debt canceled for every two years of service up to a decade.

"The PSLFP takes too long to help most young people with student debt," Swalwell, whose district includes San Ramon, said in a statement. "This bill does more to encourage graduates to serve their communities while helping to relieve the burden of student debt along the way."

Specifically, the proposal would allow 15% of the borrowers' Federal Direct Loan balance to be canceled after working two years in public service, another 15% after four years, 20% after six years, 20% after eight years and finally 30% after 10 years of employment.

The second bill introduced by Swalwell and others last week was the "Know Your Repayment Options Act."

Referred to as House Resolution 5898, the proposed legislation would require the U.S. Department of Education to inform every federal student loan borrower annually about all of their repayment options.

"Student loan borrowers who know all of their repayment options can choose the one that best suits them," Swalwell said.

"And choosing the best plan means they are more likely to avoid defaulting on those loans or getting into other financial trouble," he added. "With more than 42 million past and present U.S. students now carrying more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, giving them annual reminders of how best to repay their debt seems like the least we can do."

The bill would require the yearly update to tell borrowers about their average anticipated monthly payment amount, yearly payment amount, lifetime payment amount, number of months remaining to pay off loans and amount that would be forgiven under all possible repayment plans, Swalwell noted.

The report would also give borrowers instructions on how to switch repayment plans if they want.

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9 people like this
Posted by Greg T
a resident of Alamo
on Jul 20, 2016 at 6:59 am

Could this just be an election year vote getting plot to get more Democrat votes? I know the push on the transgender bathroom idea didn't work that well for them

1 person likes this
Posted by Ms. Bunny
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 20, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Why not make college affordable for all people who are willing to work and pay their debts. What about making community colleges tuition-free again, and those with excellent grades can get scholarships to four-year institutions? Or some other plan that makes it equal for all, and rewards those who work and are responsible.

10 people like this
Posted by AlanRichardson
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 20, 2016 at 8:57 pm

When I racked up a ton of debit putting myself through, I didn't whine about it and look for a hand out from the government. I knew I was investing in my earning power. It took a over decade of hard work to pay off those loans, a little at a time. It wasn't fun., or easy. These mamsie pamsy woosies want a hand out entitlement. Here is an idea, work your butt off and pay them back with whatever you can EARN. Can't afford the pasyment, becxause you can't afford the rent in SFO, well maybe you should move to South Dakota where the cost of living is lower. Next time maybe you shoukd think twice about heading off to private school.

Swawell is a panderer of socialism. This stuff is sickening. I worked my butt off every summer and breaks in oil fields and rigs, it taught me that there is no free lunch. Wake up Amerika!! No one is entitled to higher education. Here's another idea! Get rid of all the illegals who are freeloading on the system. Yep, our health insurance rates went down with this garbage they have been peddling.

Promise free stuff for votes, expect nothing less from this two faced lawyer. These are the same type of people who bought too much house, leveraged themselves to the hilt and then strategically defaulted.

Here's another idea, next time these woosies want to paste the selfie on facebook, do it making a buck the old fashion way, instead of on spring break. Get a job!!!

Everyone is not equal! Sure in the eyes of god and human rights, but that's it. Higher education is not a human right. Here's some good news, privialage can be earned by anyone with the brains and work ethic to make it happen. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Yep, in real life we do not all get a trophy to feel good. Not everyone belongs in College. Every hard working person does deserve dignity! When you tax the crap out of the core to fund social programs for illegals, you rob your people of their dignity.

Any race creed, or color can pull it off here, from any background, but just like not everyone can play shortstop for the Yankees, not everyone gets a college education. Here's a lesson about business woosies, it takes risk to make money! Sometimes we lose! Do I have my kids come to the neighbors for a bailout when their lemonade stand fails? Investing in College, yes investing, is a risk, like any other investment. When you levereage your future earning power you might not make it. You student loan people all knew you had no way of declaring bankruptcy to get relief from your student loans. Yep, those first years suck!! College is a cakewalk compared to the real world.

America was built on the backs of hard working men and women, that had a predilection for achievement. It was not and will not continue to be great by woosies staring at a screen at Facebook, or Google looking at add analytics while they pound red bull and whine about student loans.

I'm from the government and I'm here to help. Those are the scariest swords in the world to any sane person! .... Regan paraphrase

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