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 BonamiciOvernight 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 House lawmakers introduce bill to help those struggling with student debt 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 MitchellIowa GOP chair calls Steve King's rape, incest comments 'outrageous' The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Republicans offer support for Steve King challenger MORE (R-Mich.), Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHouse Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Ensuring quality health care for those with intellectual disabilities and autism House Democrats target 2020 GOP incumbents in new ad MORE (R-Pa.) and Seth MoultonSeth MoultonYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Wall Street ends volatile month in major test for Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Hurricane headed for Florida changes Trump's travel plans 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.