Our policy agenda lays out proposed changes to strengthen federal financial aid policies and reduce the risks and burdens of student debt. We will be actively working on these issues in 2014.
Federal student loans should help expand rather than restrict educational and economic opportunity. With broad-based support from students, parents, and college access experts, we helped design a proposal that would cap loan payments at a reasonable percentage of income, limit interest buildup, and cancel remaining debt after 25 years for responsible borrowers. This policy, now called Income-Based Repayment, was signed into law in 2007 and went into effect in 2009.
Both the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) and the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) programs allow borrowers to make affordable monthly student loan payments over an extended period of time, and any outstanding balance after 25 years of repayment is forgiven. Under current law, the balance forgiven is treated as taxable income to the borrower. Bipartisan legislation introduced in the 111th Congress (H.R. 2492) would fix this problem and ensure true loan forgiveness for responsible borrowers.