Elizabeth Warren is holding up the confirmation of a top Education Dept. nominee to push for better administration of student-loan servicers

Elizabeth Warren is holding up the confirmation of a top Education Dept. nominee to push for better administration of student-loan servicers
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senator elizabeth warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren is responsible for stalling James Kvaal's nomination to under secretary of education.

  • A source familiar with the matter told Insider the stall is not about student-debt cancellation.

  • Rather, Warren wants the Education Department to improve how it oversees student-loan servicers.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is responsible for holding up James Kvaal's nomination for under secretary of education, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to Insider.

Kvaal, the former president of the nonprofit Institute of College Access and Success, was nominated for the number three position at the Education Department in February, but Warren has been stalling his nomination because she wants to improve the administration of the student loan program.

The source told Insider that although Warren is leading the effort for $50,000 in student debt cancellation, this holdup is not about cancellation, but rather the administration of loan servicers. The Warren office has engaged in conversations with Kvaal about necessary reforms in higher education, including improvements to the student loan program, the source said, adding that these conversations are continuing.

Bloomberg first reported that a Senate Democrat was stalling Kvaal's confirmation, but the identity of the lawmaker was unknown at the time.

Warren has been a leading voice in working to ensure that student-loan servicers are not taking advantage of borrowers. Insider reported in April that Warren has held student-loan servicers in her sights for well over a decade. In 2006, when she was still a Harvard Law professor, Warren was interviewed on "60 Minutes" and cited abuses at student-loan servicer Sallie Mae, now known as Navient. The next year, Warren wrote a Democracy Journal column arguing for the creation of a Financial Product Safety Commission that would include protection from deceptively marketed student loans.

In her first hearing as subcommittee chair of economic policy, on April 13, Warren invited Navient CEO John Remondi to testify, during which she told him, "The federal government should absolutely fire Navient, and because this happened under your leadership, Navient should fire you."

Most recently, on Monday Warren joined two of her Democratic colleagues in requesting information from every student-loan servicer, including Navient, on how they are helping borrowers restart their student loan payments in October, which have been on pause for the duration of the pandemic.

The lawmakers wrote that "student-loan servicers have an abysmal track record of helping borrowers navigate financial problems and complex repayment plans."

The Education Department has begun the process of implementing new rules for student-loan programs, but the process is lengthy and details are unclear on what improvements to the program will look like.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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