Group of senators urge student loan services to give military members full benefits

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) led a group of 24 mostly-Democratic senators in writing the letter, which cited a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) report that said some student loan services are wrongly denying military members the benefits they deserve.

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“We were alarmed to learn that some student loan servicers are providing incomplete or inaccurate information regarding service members’ options for reducing their debt — often leading individuals to make decisions that have costly long-term consequences,” the letter stated. “In one particularly egregious example, a service member was guided toward a deferment plan that ended up increasing his total debt by $25,000. This is simply unacceptable.”

In a statement released Tuesday, Boxer said 41 percent of military service members currently have student loan debt. The senators told Crigler to implement measures to ensure than service members know their options and can manage their debt.

“We urge you to establish and implement best practice standards to ensure that lenders and servicers provide service members with accurate, comprehensive information about benefits and protections, so these men and women can make informed decisions about their loan repayment options and successfully manage their debt,” the senators wrote.

Sens. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) co-signed the letter.