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Statement from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities on Student Aid Bill of Rights

We applaud the Administrations attention to the actual operations of the federal student loan programs
and welcome the promised improvements to loan servicing and customer service in Department of
Education contracts. For too long, federal loan servicers and debt collectors have engaged in questionable,
unethical, and outright illegal tactics in their interactions with borrowers. Todays announcement builds
on the Department of Educations recent termination of several contracts, and will, we hope, signal a
sustained effort to improve service quality for all borrowers, including those struggling to repay predatory
private-label loans.
We caution that making loans more affordable and their repayment less burdensome are no substitute for
upfront policies to protect borrowers from crushing debt. First, it is critical for the Department to do a
better job stopping predatory operations from defrauding students. Millions of borrowers are struggling to
repay their loans because they were saddled with debt to pay for worthless programs. These defrauded
borrowers need debt relief, not better repayment options. Second, unless the Administration and Congress
act urgently to constructively address escalating college costs, particularly in the public sector where the
vast majority of families access higher education, debt burden will inevitably escalate and income-based
repayment turns into another path of least resistance for tuition hikes.