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Student loans get the “Know Before You Owe” treatment

Posted in CFPB General

Recycling the “Know Before You Owe” theme of its mortgage loan disclosure project, the CFPB has launched a new student loan project on its web site which it describes as the product of a partnership between the CFPB and the U.S. Department of Education.

The CFPB is looking for feedback on what is actually a draft financial aid offer form, which it calls a “financial aid shopping sheet,” that a college or university would provide to a student who has applied for financial aid. Also new to the CFPB’s web site is the “Student Debt Repayment Assistant,” an on-line tool intended to assist students in evaluating their repayment options.

The new CFPB initiatives were announced by Raj Date on October 26 at the University of Minnesota. We assume the site was selected at least in part because of the large student body, since the CFPB’s advance publicity for Mr. Date’s announcement highlighted the fact that more than 50,000 students attend the University.

But based on our viewing of the CFPB’s Livestream video, we can’t help but wonder where all of those students were. When the camera panned the audience for the concluding Q & A portion of the event, members of the media were the only people who appeared to be present for Mr. Date’s remarks.

In addition to the CFPB’s announcement, the Obama Administration has announced two changes to the federal student loan program rules which it intends to implement through executive action. Those changes are detailed in our legal alert, which also provides more information on the CFPB’s student loan initiatives.