A young couple discussing a pile of bills sitting on the table.
The cost to attend public colleges in Massachusetts is increasing faster than it is in any other state, while the average graduate in Massachusetts carries more than $33,000 in debt; photo by Mikhail Nilov, via Pexels.com

Student loan payment restart riddled with errors for MA borrowers

new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors.

Repayments began in October following a three-year pandemic-related pause. Since then, complaints of inaccurate bills, late notices and poor customer service have only increased.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., said borrowers are struggling to reach loan service providers on the phone while more than 20,000 people received grossly incorrect bills.

“Now imagine opening your mail and seeing a bill for 100,000 dollars. This is ridiculous,” Pressley asserted.

Pressley pointed out borrowers’ financial situations are as precarious now as they were when the pandemic began and argued they deserve student debt relief. Critics countered American taxpayers should not be saddled with college loan debt they did not incur.

Officials with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said they are working to protect student loan borrowers from incompetent or predatory student loan servicers, including the more than 800,000 people who missed their first payment since the pause was lifted because their bills were mailed out too late.

Rohit Chopra, director of the bureau, said borrowers should be cautious, especially when talking to third-parties contracted by loan servicers for bill payments.

“If you’re having trouble, please file a complaint,” Chopra urged. “We’re often able to get those individuals across the country fixes and sometimes clear answers on what really needs to happen.”

The Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan earlier this year, affecting more than 800,000 student borrowers in Massachusetts who would have been eligible to have some if not all their debt erased.

by Kathryn Carley, Commonwealth News Service

Kathryn Carley began her career in community radio, and is happy to be back, covering the New England region for Public News Service. Getting her start at KFAI in Minneapolis, Carley graduated from the University of Minnesota and then worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio, focusing on energy and agriculture. Moving to Washington, D.C., she filed stories for The Pacifica Network News and The Pacifica Report. Later, Carley worked as News Host for New York Public Radio, WNYC as well as Co-Anchor for Newsweek’s long running radio program, Newsweek on Air. Carley also served as News Anchor for New York Times Radio. She now lives near Boston, MA.

Languages Spoken: English

Topic Expertise: education, environment, nuclear energy

Local Expertise: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, New York City, Wisconsin, Minnesota

Demographic Expertise: public schools, families, children, nutrition

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