April 21, 2008


Introduces Bill to Ensure Access to

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and Chairman of its Subcommittee on Children and Families, was joined by Senators Kennedy (D-MA), Brown (D-OH), Murray (D-WA), Sanders (I-VT), and Clinton (D-NY) in introducing the PLUS Loan Borrower Protection Act today.  The bill is designed to ensure that students and parents can qualify for PLUS loans even if they have had trouble making their mortgage payments in light of the recent mortgage market meltdown.
Federal PLUS loans are available to help parents and students pay for their college or graduate school tuition. Borrowers can qualify for PLUS loans regardless of financial need, but are not eligible if determined to have an adverse credit history. Under current law, a borrower can be deemed ineligible for a PLUS loan if they have been delinquent on a mortgage payments for more than 90 days or if they have gone through a foreclosure in the previous five years.
The PLUS Loan Borrower Protection Act would keep parents and students from being disqualified from receiving PLUS loans if they have been delinquent on payments or have experienced a foreclosure on their primary residence during the recent mortgage crisis.  This is a necessary step, especially given the current upheaval in the economy, to ensure that students and families still have access to the resources they need to pay for higher education.
“Ensuring that students have affordable options to finance a college education should be one of our highest priorities,” said Dodd.  “Students should not be denied access to PLUS loans simply because our housing market was mismanaged – that is both unacceptable and wrong.”