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 BonamiciWe need to prevent food waste at school Pelosi heading to Madrid for UN climate change convention Scientists join Democrats in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule 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 MitchellOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — House to condemn Trump plan for Medicaid block grants | Chinese doctor who warned of coronavirus dies | CDC ships coronavirus tests GOP lawmaker shreds Democratic resolution on House floor Democrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' MORE (R-Mich.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickDemocrats bullish on bill to create women's history museum: 'It's an election year' This week: Trump's budget lands with a thud on Capitol Hill House approves pro-union labor bill MORE (R-Pa.) and Seth MoultonSeth MoultonTrump set to confront his impeachment foes Biden lines up high-profile surrogates to campaign in Iowa The DCCC's 'blacklist' protects a white male political status quo 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.