Student Loan News: Senate Blocks DeVos’ Borrower Defense Rules

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.


We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

Welcome to Student Loan News, a weekly summary of developments and events affecting college debt in the U.S. Join us each Friday for a look at goings-on that could impact your own student loan situation.

Senate votes against Education secretary’s plan

A bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to halt Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ limits on borrower defense to repayment, a federal student loan forgiveness program that provides relief to defrauded students.

Ten Republicans joined Senate Democrats to vote down DeVos’ rule changes by a 53-42 margin. One of those Republicans, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, was quoted by as saying Tuesday: “If the school is fraudulent and gets them there under false pretenses, [the borrowers] should have some relief on their student debt.”

DeVos’ plan, which was unveiled in August 2019, would limit affected borrowers to three years to file their claim — a restriction that, according to a Politico report, would keep two-thirds of applicants from approval. The secretary’s proposal also requires borrowers to meet a higher burden of proof for their claims, and it allows schools to insist on settling disputes via arbitration.

If President Trump signs the Senate-passed legislation, borrower defense to repayment would revert to its original rules, which allow borrowers six years to apply for forgiveness and permits students to avoid arbitration. Trump has said he is “neutral” on the resolution, according to Politico.

How it affects YOU: If your school mistreated you, read up on borrower defense to repayment to see if you could qualify for relief. Meanwhile, we’ll keep tabs how the program’s criteria change, if at all.

Also in the news…

  • While appearing before the Senate last week, DeVos said the White House was seeking to sunset Public Service Loan Forgiveness. “The administration feels that incentivizing one type of work and one type of job over another is not called for,” DeVos said, according to Yahoo Finance. “And we have a demand in our over 7 million jobs going unfilled today, and favoring one type of pursuit over another type of pursuit philosophically doesn’t line up with where we are.”
  • The spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 has affected the economy, causing the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates. It has also led to the closing of some colleges and universities. Student Loan Hero is tracking some of these major school closures here.
  • A bill that would eliminate federal student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans passed the House this week and now awaits its future in the Senate. The bill would enshrine in law the White House’s executive order, which also wiped away disabled veterans’ student debt.
  • The University of New Mexico proposed a 2.6% tuition increase for in-state students and 5% hike for out-of-state students late last week, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The proposal also calls for non-state tuition to rise an additional 5% over the following two years. The planned upticks come at an interesting time, as the flagship university would be covered under the state’s proposal to waive tuition for all residents.

News can be useful, but if you want some deeper advice, take a moment to sign up for the Student Loan Hero weekly digest email and get valuable financial knowledge sent straight to your inbox … for free!