Obama signs “Student Aid Bill of Rights”

Benjamin Farniok

President Barack Obama signed a “Student Aid Bill of Rights” Tuesday to provide additional financial support to student loan borrowers, according to a press release from the president’s office.

The plan ensures that borrowers are able to make timely payments and avoid default, including increased flexibility in repayment options and changes to bankruptcy law, where applicable.

The bill also states that the secretary of education will be required to instruct Federal Direct student loan servicers to disclose more information to borrowers. By July 1, measures will be taken to ensure debt collectors are more transparent and help defaulted borrowers return to good financial standing.

The plan also includes developing a new way for borrowers to pass along feedback and complaints to the U.S. Department of Education by Jan. 1, 2016. The complaints could be in regard to lenders, loan servicers, collection agencies, and higher education institutions. This would include allowing people to submit a complaint and monitor its progress.

The Department of Education will share information from these complaints with relevant enforcement agencies so they can better monitor violations of consumer protection laws.

"We’re trying to tackle this problem from every angle.  There’s no silver bullet.  But we’re trying to make sure that across the board, more and more young people can afford to go to college, and then afterwards, aren’t so burdened with debt that you can’t do anything else." Obama said during an event in Atlanta on Tuesday, according to a White House release.