Washington, DC—Today, Representative John Curtis (R-UT) and Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced theTransparency in Student Lending Act, legislation that would improve the information provided to students and families taking on federal loans to finance higher education. The bill was also cosponsored by US Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and US Representatives Tedd Budd (R-NC), and Bill Posey (R-FL).

“As our global economy grows ever more competitive, education is key. Unfortunately, costs—including hidden costs—can be crippling,” Curtis said. “As the primary provider of the vast majority of student loans and education financing options, the federal government should provide a transparent and full accounting of associated costs and fees for borrowers. I represent the youngest Congressional district in the country with an average age of 26 years old; these students must be equipped to make the right decisions for their families and their futures.”

“Borrowers of federal student loans need transparent information when considering loan options and federal student loans should have to be upfront about their true costs,” Enzi said. “This bill would provide more transparency so families can be better informed about their financing options.”

Statements of Support

David A. Feitz, Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority Executive Director (full letter)

“The UHEAA fully supports the Transparency in Student Lending Act. UHEAA agrees that full disclosure of annual percentage rates (APR) and terms on all student loans should be required, especially on those originated by the federal government. As the largest lender in the nation, the federal government has already disbursed $30.4 billion on 8.5 million loans in the first quarter of FY 2019. All student borrowers deserve a full disclosure of accurate rates and fees they are being charged.”

Richard Hunt, Consumers Bankers Association President and CEO (full letter)
“The
Transparency in Student Lending Act will empower federal student loan borrowers with the information necessary to make informed decisions about higher education financing … CBA strongly believes better disclosure of federal student loan costs will promote informed decision-making and discourage the over borrowing that is fueling the high cost of college. We commend you for introducing legislation to demand the same level of transparency from the federal government as our member banks provide in the private student loan market.”

Debra J. Chomry, Education Finance Council President (full letter)

“On behalf of Education Finance Council (EFC), I am writing to endorse the Transparency in Student Lending Act. EFC supports this legislation and your efforts to require the disclosure of an annual percentage rate (APR) on federal student loans. EFC agrees that the federal government, as the originator of more than 90 percent of all education loans, should be required to provide a more complete accounting of the costs of these loans to enable families to make fully informed higher education financing decisions. Your bill will greatly improve transparency by prominently disclosing, when the loan is disbursed, the amount of the loan; the stated interest rate on the loan; the standard term of the loan; any fees or additional costs associated with the loan; and any capitalization of interest on the loan.”

Background

The Transparency in Student Lending Act would require disclosure of the annual percentage rate (APR) for federal student loans. The APR assists borrowers by showing the true cost of a loan, helping students and their families make more informed financial decisions. Currently, borrowers of private student loans receive this information, but borrowers of loans issued by the Department of Education do not.

The APR is expressed as a single percentage number that represents the actual yearly costs of funds over the term of the loan and takes into account the stated interest rate of the loan and any fees or additional costs associated with the loan.

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