WASHINGTON Last week, Reps. Dean, Adams, Waters and Senators Warren and Brown expressed support for student loan relief provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 and the William M. Mac Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

“Private student loan borrowers are suffering -- and many of them are veterans who gave their time to protect and serve this nation,” said Congresswoman Dean. “We need to be standing up for these borrowers and delivering relief during this crisis.”

They wrote in support of two amendments adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives which would provide immediate relief to the nation’s private student loan borrowers who carry $131 billion in outstanding balances. 

Representative Dean’s amendment would provide each private student loan borrower with up to $10,000 in debt cancellation – benefitting the large number of veterans and servicemembers who take out private student loans and have so far received no debt relief in Congress’s COVID-19 response.

Representative Adams’ amendment would grant private student loan borrowers with the same type of relief and protections that Congress provided to borrowers of Federal Direct loans in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). 

“Americans owe upwards of $125 billion in private student loan debt – in times like this, these Americans also deserve help from their government”, said Congresswoman Adams. “That is why Representative Dean and I introduced these amendments to make clear that there should be no distinction between public and private borrowers in accessing relief. It is now incumbent on Senate Armed Services leadership to keep these amendments in the text of the NDAA and lessen the financial burden on millions of Americans.”

““The student loan debt crisis was already crushing millions, even before this economic collapse. We need to broadly cancel student loan debt, including for private borrowers. This is why I'm joining my colleagues in supporting these provisions to provide necessary and immediate relief that will especially benefit our veterans and service members with private student loans,” said Senator Warren

Members urged Armed Services Committee Members including Chairman James Inhofe, Chairman Adam Smith, Ranking Member Jack Reed, and Ranking Member Mac Thornberry to help secure funding to provide necessary relief for private student loan borrowers who are struggling with a substantial debt burden during this unprecedented economic crisis.