Although these are not the only aspects of student loan policy that will come up in the next legislative session, these issues will drive the discussion regarding student loans.
Student loan debt is being reported as the next big “mortgage crisis” and private student loan lenders will likely be receiving the same congressional attention that private lenders did during the mortgage crisis. Although allowing students to declare bankruptcy on their student loans would likely cause a wave of bankruptcies, this policy will still be up for debate. It could very well serve as a bargaining tool for reaching a middle-of-the-road legislative alternative. A recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report on student loans will not necessarily be the impetus for a legislative fix, but it will serve as the foundation for scheduling hearings and framing the debate.
How these two issues are framed will depend on the outcome of the election. It is hard to draw any true conclusions on what the policy will end up looking like but they will be major discussion points when developing those policies.
The veterans’ issue is a hot one right now for student loans and will continue to be regardless of the outcome of the elections. As troops are returning, more and more are taking advantage of their educational benefits. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a specific office set up for identifying consumer fraud perpetrated against veterans. Holly Petreaus, General David Petreaus’ wife, leads that office and her focus as of late has been a revaluation of the veteran student loan process and the targeting of veterans for loans from unscrupulous private lenders.