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 BonamiciScientists join Democrats in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule Overnight Energy: Democrats call for Ross to resign over report he threatened NOAA officials | Commerce denies report | Documents detail plan to decentralize BLM | Lawmakers demand answers on bee-killing pesticide Oregon Democrats push EPA to justify use of pesticide 'highly toxic' to bees 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 MitchellEd Markey, John Rutherford among victors at charity pumpkin-carving contest Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash House Republicans voice concerns about White House's impeachment messaging MORE (R-Mich.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHillicon Valley: Critics press feds to block Google, Fitbit deal | Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-linked accounts | TikTok looks to join online anti-terrorism effort | Apple pledges .5B to affordable housing Twitter takes down Hamas, Hezbollah-affiliated accounts after lawmaker pressure GOP lawmakers express concerns about Giuliani's work in Ukraine MORE (R-Pa.) and Seth MoultonSeth MoultonWe still owe LGBT veterans for their patriotism and service It's time for Congress to establish a national mental health crisis number Bill introduced to give special immigrant visas to Kurds who helped US in Syria 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.