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Committee Leaders Seek Clarity on Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Requirements

Dear Attorney General Holder:

In recent months, some federal student loan servicers have been scrutinized by the departments of Justice (DOJ) and Defense (DOD), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for allegedly violating the ​Servicemembers Civil Relief Act ​(SCRA).

As you know, under the SCRA the interest rate on federal and private student loans taken out by active-duty servicemembers prior to military service may be capped at six percent. I share your concerns for our men and women in uniform and agree all qualified servicemembers must be fairly afforded the benefits offered under the SCRA. However, we must also ensure the law is consistently interpreted by all agencies of the federal government.

To read the full letter to Attorney General Holder, click here.

Dear Secretary Duncan:

Thank you for your January 3, 2014, response to our letter regarding interest rate benefits for active-duty military under the ​Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). I appreciate your willingness to join our efforts to make it easier for men and women in uniform to access the benefits they deserve.

As we work toward this shared goal, it is important to clarify the steps servicemembers must take to obtain the interest rate benefits under the SCRA, as well as the documentation loan servicers are required to obtain prior to providing those benefits. According to your letter, active-duty servicemembers may have their student loan interest rates capped at six percent only ​after​ both a written request and official orders detailing dates of duty are provided to the loan servicer. However, it seems the Department of Justice (DOJ) may have a different interpretation of the law.

To read the full letter to Secretary Duncan, click here.

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