WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney closed its Office for Students and Young Consumers, the federal government agency charged with overseeing student loan servicers, enforcing important consumer protections and advocating for student loan borrowers.
“This is a callous and cynical assault on the core function of the CFPB, masquerading as a restructure. Rather than advance the agency’s mission to protect student borrowers, Mick Mulvaney has decided to betray it. From today on, 44 million student borrowers won’t have their rights protected, and the bureau will be forced to ignore illegal practices that rogue loan servicers routinely engage in. And this is happening just as we learn interest rates are going up, making college even more costly.
“Since its creation, the Office for Students and Young Consumers has protected millions of student borrowers by investigating or suing servicers like Navient, NelNet, Great Lakes and FedLoan Servicing. It led a crackdown on illegal debt relief companies that scammed thousands of teachers, nurses and low-income workers into paying outrageous fees for enrolling them in free federal programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans.
“Today, companies that abuse students will be celebrating a return to the wild, Wild West. But for students and families trying to improve their lives, this is a day of mourning.”