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May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3
COMPLIMENTARY

Mar 2023 | General | 0 comments

AG Kris Mayes joins coalition for more affordable repayment plan for student loan borrowers

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March 2023

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes Joins Coalition Supporting Affordable Repayment Plan for Student Loans

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has joined a coalition of 22 state attorneys general in submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Education in response to proposed changes to the Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) program.

IDR plans enable borrowers to make payments based on income and family size and offer the possibility of loan forgiveness after 20 or 25 years of qualifying payments.

Coalition Urges U.S. Department of Education to Expand Relief for Student Loan Borrowers

In their letter to Secretary Miguel Cardona, the coalition applauds the Department for proposing “meaningful improvements” to IDR and emphasizes that the proposed regulatory reforms will make monthly IDR payments more affordable, eliminate enrollment disincentives, help borrowers avoid ballooning loan balances, and prevent needless defaults.

In addition to these significant improvements, the letter also calls on the Department to expand relief to parent borrowers and defaulted borrowers and to adopt additional measures to remedy past harms and ensure the program’s success moving forward.

IDR Plans Failed to Meet Goals, Coalition Calls for Further Action

As the coalition explains in the letter, IDR plans, which first became available in the 1990s, were intended to ensure that borrowers’ monthly payments would be affordable and that borrowers would not be saddled for life with student loan debt. However, existing IDR plans have failed to meet these goals due to faulty servicing, needless administrative complexity, and design flaws.

The coalition also calls upon the Department to adopt additional measures to ensure that IDR will benefit more borrowers, including:

  • Making consolidated Parent PLUS loans eligible for the most affordable repayment plan—Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE);
  • Creating a simpler path for borrowers in default to enroll in IDR;
  • Counting all past forbearance and repayment periods and certain deferment periods toward IDR loan forgiveness; and
  • Expanding the reach of the Department’s proposals to provide retroactive relief to borrowers who have suffered from the historic mismanagement of the federal loan repayment system.

Other Debt Relief Initiatives Announced by U.S. Department of Education

In addition to the newly proposed IDR plan, the U.S. Department of Education has announced other debt relief initiatives to address the past problems with of IDR, including the One-Time IDR Adjustment. Through the One-Time IDR Adjustment, borrowers whose loans are owned by the U.S. Department of Education can receive credit toward IDR loan forgiveness for past repayment periods and certain deferment and forbearance periods—even if they have never previously enrolled in IDR, potentially enabling them to receive forgiveness much sooner. Federal loans that are privately owned must be consolidated into the Direct Loan Program by May 1, 2023, to benefit from the One-Time IDR Adjustment.

Attorneys General from 22 States Join the Call for Change

Joining General Mayes in issuing this letter, are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, and Vermont.

AZYP awarded significant grant aimed to assist homeless youth

The Arizona Youth Partnership (AZYP) has secured a significant financial boost in its mission to support homeless youth in Mohave County. The non-profit organization has been awarded a $307,000 grant from The Arizona Housing Coalition, part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation by the Arizona Department of Housing.

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Arizona residents brace for fallout from University of Arizona’s financial problems

The size of the university’s financial problems has become increasingly alarming in recent months. Initial reports of a multimillion-dollar shortfall have ballooned, with the latest estimates suggesting a deficit potentially exceeding $140 million. It appears this is not simply a one-time budget gap but a deep-seated structural problem with the university spending far more than it brings in each year.

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