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NCHER News & Press: General

Legislative Priorities for the 115th Congress (2017-2018)

Thursday, July 13, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Pamela Shepherd
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Legislative Priorities for the 115th Congress (2017-2018)

The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) and its members assist students and families develop, pay for, and attain their educational goals so they can pursue meaningful and rewarding work and become contributing members of society. As the nation’s largest higher education finance trade association, NCHER helps shape policies governing federal and private student aid programs on behalf of students and families. The following are NCHER’s priorities for the 115th Congress:

HIGHER EDUCATION REFORM ACT
Assisting Students and Families in Making Smart Postsecondary Education Decisions

  • Providing pre‐college, in‐school, and post‐college financial education and debt management services to students, borrowers, and families to help them make knowledgeable decisions.
  • Strengthening existing entrance and exit counseling requirements.
  • Promoting the use of 529 Plans.

Improving Federal Student Aid by Streamlining Student Loan Repayment and Preventing Overborrowing

  • Simplifying and streamlining the myriad of student loan repayment plans.
    Improving and automating the annual recertification process for borrowers participating in income driven repayment plans.
  • Dramatically reduce the number of questions on the FAFSA.
  • Providing authority to financial aid administrators to lower annual and aggregate student loan limits.
  • Consider capping the amount parents can borrow under the PLUS program.

Reducing Burdensome Federal Regulations that Create Barriers to Assisting Student and Parent Borrowers

  • The preferred lender list restrictions are causing unintended and unnecessary costly outcomes for many borrowers and should be repealed during the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
  • NCHER also recommends that Congress expand its current list of burdensome regulations by encouraging a more comprehensive compilation of unnecessary regulations and guidance in order to reduce regulatory burdens that stifle innovation and create barriers to assisting students, borrowers, and parents. 

Expanding Access to Loan Rehabilitation

  • Expanding access to loan rehabilitation.
  • Allowing access to the National Directory of New Hires.
  • Improving Access to The National Student Loan Data System.

Providing for an Orderly Wind‐Down of the Federal Guaranteed Student Loan Program

  • Authorizing the payment of AMF through 2026.
  • Providing just‐in‐time reinsurance payments to facilitate cash flow into the Federal Fund.
  • Removing the 45 percent cap on Federal Direct Consolidation Loans.
  • Developing a specific process for those guaranty agencies interested in relinquishing their FFELP portfolios.

Promoting Better Loan Servicing for Student and Parent Borrowers

  • Opposing the current procurement and ensuring that it has meaningful and sustainable opportunities for state and nonprofit organizations to help struggling borrowers.
  • Promoting the use of state and nonprofit organizations with expertise in helping student and parent borrowers.
  • Ensuring there are common performance metrics across all servicers.
  • Ensure federal law and contractual requirements preempt state and local rules that impact federal student loan servicing and collections.

Promoting the Availability of Private Education Loans

  • Mandating that Direct Loan borrowers receive accurate disclosure of the cost of their loans.
  • Permitting private education loan lenders to remove the default record upon the rehabilitation of a private education loan.

Leveraging Private Sector Participation in the Federal Student Loan Program to

Protect Taxpayers and Assist Students and Families

  • Requiring federal agencies to use Fair‐Value Accounting when measuring the true costs of federal credit programs.
  • Enhancing the role of private capital and local expertise in financing the cost of college and administering student loans.

TAX REFORM

Promoting Tax‐Exempt Financing of Education Loans to Reduce Costs for Students and Families

  • Preserving tax‐exempt financing of education loans as part of any tax reform package.
  • Supporting H.R. 480, the “Student Loan Opportunity Act,” allowing 150(d) organizations to access tax‐exempt financing for private education loans.
  • Repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), or excluding tax‐exempt student loan‐based securities from the AMT.
  • Clarifying tax‐exempt bonds used to make private loans that refinance existing tax‐exempt private loans are not advance refunding bonds.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS/TELEPHONE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT

Using Technology to Help Struggling Borrowers

  • Opposing the HANG UP Act.
  • Urging the FCC to reconsider its final TCPA rules.

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