Senator Lamar Alexander proposed a sweeping change that would simplify applying for federal student aid while allowing many to make no or smaller monthly student loan payments.
Nearing the end of his tenure in Congress, Senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate education committee, proposed excusing those with no income from making student loan payments, as well as enacting one of his longtime goals: simplifying the forms used to apply for federal student aid.
Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee who is retiring at the end of the year, noted Tuesday in a speech on the Senate floor that the reprieve the CARES Act gave student loan borrowers from making payments during the coronavirus pandemic will run out on Sept. 30.
Under his proposal, Alexander said those without incomes, excluding unemployment, will not have to make federal student loan payments. Those who are continuing to make money would have to pay no more than 10 percent of their remaining income after paying for essentials like rent and food.
Under either scenario, loans will be forgiven after 20 years for undergraduate loans or 25 years for graduate student loans.