Civil Rights, Consumer, and Education Groups Call on DeVos to Protect Student Loan Borrowers of Color

Categories: Education, Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398, inouye@civilrights.org

WASHINGTON—Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States, along with 38 civil rights, consumer, and education groups, sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, expressing strong concerns about the Department of Education’s recent changes to student loan servicing, debt collection, and higher education regulations and their impact on Black and Latino borrowers.

The groups write:

“As it stands, the student loan servicing industry is too often failing borrowers of color … Default and delinquency can ruin a person’s credit score and damage their credit profile, affecting their ability to acquire other wealth-building lines of credit like a mortgage or auto loan. Remedies are long overdue to address the barriers that students, especially students of color, face in achieving on-time repayment of student loans. Unfortunately, the changes recently announced by the Department of Education would exacerbate inequalities, making the already unfair and ineffective student loan servicing system even more harmful to all students and families seeking higher education.”

The letter outlines specific concerns with the department’s: rescission of memoranda holding servicers accountable for their track record; amendment to student loan servicing solicitation guidelines; rehiring of debt collection agencies with a history of abusive practices; slowdown of loan discharges and halting of borrower defense regulations; and delay and renegotiation of the gainful employment regulation.

The full text of the letter is available here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.