Merkley Applauds Administration Action to Extend Income-Based Student Loan Repayment to All Federal Borrowers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education finalized a new rule making all Americans who take out student loans directly from the federal government eligible for income-based repayment that will cap monthly payments at 10% of their discretionary income. The new rule expands this income-based repayment option to five million more borrowers.

“This is a great development. It is essential that our college students have a pathway to avoid being crushed by debt. We now need to anchor this pathway in law, so that all our junior high and high school students will know that there is an affordable pathway to pursue their dreams. That is exactly why I have introduced the AFFORD Act, which will give certainty to future generations by making sure this affordable repayment option will continue to be there. 

“The prospect of unmanageable debt has been crushing the dreams of millions of Americans. We need to take that fear out of the equation. The Administration’s action is a terrific stride in that direction.”

Merkley has been a leading proponent of income-based repayment options to take on the student loan debt crisis, and he has pushed the Administration to expand income-based repayment options. He is the author of the AFFORD Act, which would ensure that an income-based repayment option capping payments at 10% of discretionary income is permanently available to all federal borrowers.