A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation in the House to help those with student loans avoid defaulting on their debt.

The Streamlining Income-driven, Manageable Payments on Loans for Education Act — or The SIMPLE Act — would help people who cannot afford full loan payments, are in danger of defaulting, have defaulted before or have disabilities. It will implement automatic processes to send information to the Treasury Department to fill out paperwork for borrowers in these circumstances who may need options for their loans, like income-driven repayment plans, according to a summary of the bill on the website of Rep. Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciPelosi, Blumenaur condemn 'egregious abuses of power' by Trump against Oregon protestors Federal agents deployed to Portland did not have training in riot control: NYT US attorney calls for investigation into unmarked federal agents arresting protesters in Oregon MORE’s (D-Ore.), the bill's author. 


For example, under the current law, if a person is “permanently and totally disabled,” that borrower can be released from their student loan payments. However, they have to certify their disability over three years, and, according to the Government Accountability Office, 98 percent of disabled people had their loans reinstated because they did not turn in the paperwork.  

The bill was introduced by Bonamici. Reps. Paul MitchellPaul MitchellLisa McClain wins Michigan GOP primary in race to replace Rep. Paul Mitchell House GOP pushes back at Trump on changing election date House Armed Services votes to make Pentagon rename Confederate-named bases in a year MORE (R-Mich.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. Fitzpatrick2020 Global Tiger Day comes with good news, but Congress still has work to do How Congress is preventing a Medicare bankruptcy during COVID-19 Overnight Energy: House passes major conservation bill, sending to Trump | EPA finalizes rule to speed up review of industry permits MORE (R-Pa.) and Seth MoultonSeth MoultonPortland: The Pentagon should step up or pipe down House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday MORE (D-Mass.) were all cosponsors.

“Too many people are struggling to make payments on burdensome student loans even though there are federal programs available to help,” Bonamici said in a press release. “The bipartisan SIMPLE Act will streamline the enrollment process for income-driven repayment plans, making it easier for borrowers to access affordable payments and avoid the catastrophic effects of default. This legislation is an important step to support those who have invested their time and resources in bettering their future through education.”

Mitchell called on lawmakers to “make it easier for vulnerable student loan borrowers.”

“We already have systems in place that allow borrowers to enroll in income-driven repayment plans that meet their needs, however the process for enrolling in these plans can be overly burdensome and confusing,” Mitchell also said in the press release. “The bipartisan SIMPLE Act will streamline the process for borrowers to access these plans, protect them from paying more than they can afford, and help them avoid default.”

Bonamici introduced a version of the legislation in 2017.