President Barack Obama is slated to speak to students at Georgia Tech on Tuesday about how he wants to make the process of repaying student loans easier to understand and manage.
Obama will sign a “student aid bill of rights” and will speak about an assortment of policy tweaks and projects to try to make it easier to help people with student loans pay back their debt.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that the 40 million Americans with student loans are aware of resources to manage their debt, and that we are doing everything we can to be responsive to their needs,” said Ted Mitchell, undersecretary of education, on a conference call with reporters.
More than 70 percent of U.S. students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree leave with debt, which averages $28,400.
The White House said it will require clearer disclosures from companies to make sure borrowers understand who is servicing their loan and how to set monthly payments and change repayment plans.
“Repayment rates improve when servicers work well and work directly with borrowers, helping them understand the terms of their loans,” said Sarah Bloom Raskin, deputy secretary of the Treasury Department, on the conference call.
Obama will direct his Education Department to create a system by July 1, 2016 to better oversee and address complaints from borrowers about lenders, servicers and collection agencies, the White House said.
His administration will also study whether it needs to propose changes to laws or regulations to create stronger consumer protections, the White House said.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Susan Heavey and Nick Zieminski)