WASHINGTON – Today, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), grilled Education Secretary Miguel Cardona for his department’s lack of preparedness to handle millions of student loan borrowers returning to repayment. The lawmakers are demanding a briefing and documents from Cardona regarding the administration’s plan to transition borrowers back to repayment.
In the letter, Foxx and Cassidy write: “Sixty days after June 30, 2023, the return to repayment for student loans will begin for 43 million borrowers. The Department has been on notice for nearly two and a half years that it would need to develop a plan for a smooth transition to repayment. … You have failed to provide us any evidence of any communication between the Department and loan servicers as of the date of this letter.”
The letter continues: “Mr. Secretary, the success or failure of the return to repayment sits squarely on your shoulders. … In addition, the committees are concerned about recent reports in the press that students are being encouraged not to make payments on their student loans once the return to repayment has begun.”
Foxx and Cassidy conclude:“We expect you and senior officers of the Department to exercise leadership in countering such efforts wherever and whenever they occur, particularly since nonpayment will lead to negative financial consequences for borrowers and barriers to future financial opportunities.”