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Advocacy Brief: Ask Your Members of Congress to Prevent the Elimination of the 20/220 Economic Hardship Student Debt Deferment

The Higher Education Act (HEA) has been extended yet again until July 31. There is still time to contact your members of Congress to include 20/220 as part of HEA Reauthorization.

The 20/220 pathway allows medical residents to qualify for economic hardship deferment and postpone repayment of their student loans (without penalty). A resident has been able to qualify for economic hardship deferment through the 20/220 pathway if he or she was employed full-time and his or her federal education debt burden was equal to or greater than 20 percent of his or her monthly income, and his or her income minus the education debt burden was less than 220 percent of the greater of the minimum wage rate or the federal poverty line (FPL) for a family of two.

Currently, the House and Senate education committees are working to reconcile (in “conference committee”) the Senate’s "Higher Education Amendments of 2007" (S. 1642) and the House’s "College Opportunity and Affordability Act" (H.R. 4137). They are expected to produce a final bill before the end of July. Right now, they have the opportunity to include in the final House-Senate conference HEA reauthorization agreement, provisions to reinstate the 20/220 pathway.

Send an email to your members of Congress using this link: Congress.

Back to July 2008 Issue of IMpact

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