Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04) reintroduced the Private Loan Disability Discharge Act (H.R. 4748) to protect totally and permanently disabled individuals and families from unfair lending practices. The Private Loan Disability Discharge Act would require private student lenders to discharge the loan balance for both the borrower and co-signer if the borrower becomes totally and permanently disabled.

Under current law, private lenders are not required to discharge student loans for borrowers or their cosigners if the borrower becomes totally and permanently disabled – unlike federal student loans which require this discharge.

“The Private Loan Disability Discharge Act seeks to address some of the financial burden on a family if a loved one becomes disabled — and was inspired by a mother in my own district who, as the cosigner, was left with the remaining balance of her daughter’s student loans after her daughter became disabled,” Rep. Dean said. “While student loans can be discharged on the federal level in this case, there is no such guarantee for private loan borrowers. So, I reintroduced this bill to protect students and families uniquely faced with insurmountable debt.”

“We applaud Rep. Dean for her leadership on this important bill, which makes a compassionate, common-sense, and long-overdue reform to better protect student borrowers and their families.” Michele Shepard, Senior Director of College Affordability, TICAS said.

The Private Loan Disability Discharge Act will now be referred to the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Ways and Means. 

Rep. Madeleine Dean is a mother, grandmother, attorney, professor, former four-term member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. Representative for the Fourth District of Pennsylvania.