How does the Affordable Care Act impact young LGBTQ adults? You’d be surprised!
When you’re finished getting all the details, check out our infographic!
On March 4, 2014, the White House released the President’s budget for 2015. We have detailed the parts of the budget that most affect young adults and our economic future, analyzing funding for youth jobs, higher education and health care.
Click here to read Investing In Young America: What’s In The President’s Budget.
This paper is the culmination of work by a consortium of five student-aid advocacy and research organizations – HCM Strategists, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), New America, and Young Invincibles – with assistance from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Committee for Economic Development, the National Campus Leadership Council, and the National College Access Network. The proposals contained in this paper reflect research conducted by and discussions between members of the consortium. However, not all proposals included in this paper are supported by all groups in the consortium. Financial support for this research was provided by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery (RADD) project.
February 28, 2014
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Attention: Monica Jackson
Office of the Executive Secretary
1700 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20552
Re: CFPB-2013-0033-0001, Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making – Debt Collection (Regulation F)
Dear Ms. Jackson:
Young Invincibles (YI) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on debt collection (Regulation F). We are a non-profit advocacy organization working to advance economic opportunities for young adults 18 to 34 in the areas of higher education, jobs, and health care.
Recently, a young woman named Cara from Florida wrote to us about her challenges with debt collection. She graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in electrical engineering. Several unforeseen events led her to default on her student loans. For eighteen months, Cara tried everything she could to rehabilitate them. She wrote to debt collection agency after agency to no avail. Agencies sold her loans back and forth several times, and when she tried to contact them to sort things out, she told us that the debt collectors refused to respond to her requests or give her any information. When Cara was six months pregnant with her first child, a collection agency started garnishing her paychecks. When Cara contacted YI, she barely had any money to support her family or feed her baby. The collection agency still refused to return her calls or letters. She tried to buy a home for her new family but the mortgage company denied her mortgage because of her credit. She feels powerless because she cannot take care of her aging parents or even open a simple checking account. Cara feels like a prisoner to her loans.
This is one borrower’s story, but it illustrates how debt collection practices can make a trying situation for a young borrower much worse. And Cara is not alone. Currently, thirty-seven million student loan borrowers have outstanding balances that total over $1 trillion. Over five million borrowers have at least one past due student loan account, with a whopping $85 billion past due. Student loan collection is a hefty portion of the debt collection industry: in 2011, a national trade association of collectors reported that student loan debts were among the most frequent debts on which collectors seek to recover from.
 Young Invincibles, “College Affordability Facts,” http://younginvincibles.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/college-affordability-fact-sheet.jpg (last visited February 28, 2014).
 ACA International, 2011 Top Collection Markets Survey: For Period: Jan.1, 2010-Dec. 31, 2010 at 9 (2011), available at http://www.acainternational.org/files.aspx?p=/images/12980/2011topmarketsurvey-electronic.pdf.
January 31, 2014
U.S. Department of Education
Attention: National Center for Education Statistics
1990 K Street NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20006
Re: Request for Information To Gather Technical Expertise Pertaining to Data Elements, Metrics, Data Collection, Weighting, Scoring, and Presentation of a Postsecondary Institution Ratings System
Dear Sir or Madam:
Last fall, Young Invincibles convened a group of Portland Community College students to discuss the need for better information about college choices. Ebony, a nineteen year-old, first generation student told us that she wished she had known more about how her schools’ graduates performed in nursing school as well as the workforce. Currently, no one can tell Ebony what proportion of Portland Community College Students successfully transferred and graduated from any institution, not to mention success rates in nursing school or workforce outcomes in the industry. With so much at stake, we must do more to help students like Ebony make informed decisions about their future.
For this reason, we appreciate the Department’s effort to equip students with better information through a Postsecondary Institutional Ratings System (PIRS). Done well, we believe that such a system can help students make informed choices and receive more value from their post-secondary investments.
However, the Department faces a daunting task on several fronts. First, the Department expects PIRS to assist consumers and hold institutions accountable. These two goals are very different and likely require different systems. Second, basing aid on ratings could unintentionally harm low-income students who face barriers to successful outcomes.
Third, the Department currently lacks the necessary data to make PIRS successful. Using the wrong data could render the system useless, or worse, counter productive. Fourth, the Department has set a very fast timeline for PIRS, giving it few opportunities to address the above challenges.
Finally, we feel it is important to note that information and incentives alone will not solve the problem of college affordability. States cut per-student higher education expenditures by an average of 28 percent between fiscal years 2007 and 2012, and in response, institutions hiked tuition an average of 27 percent. Any comprehensive solution for college affordability must address state disinvestment.
We hope the following comments from the student perspective will constructively contribute to your efforts. Specifically, we ask the Department for the following:
1. Incorporate data that students care most about: affordability, job placement rates, and the ability to pay back their loans.
2. Present information to students in a clear and understandable format.
3. Engage the public through an outreach campaign about the ratings system.
4. Distinguish between using PIRS for consumer information and institutional accountability.
5. Use the ratings to set a minimum performance bar for institutions to receive aid and reward institutions who successfully serve low-income students.
6. Establish privacy protections for student level data.
How does the Affordable Care Act impact young Latinos? You’d be surprised!
When you’re finished getting all the details, click here for our fun infographic on young Latinos and the ACA!
May 28, 2013
Office of the Executive Secretary
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552
Re: Comment on Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection proposed rule defining larger participants of a market for student loan servicing (RIN 3170-AA35)
Dear Ms. Jackson:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed rule Defining Large Participants of a Student Loan Market. Young Invincibles is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works to amplify the voices of young Americans and expand economic opportunities for our generation. Student loan debt is a top issue affecting the economic prosperity of young people today, and borrowers trying to repay their debt face particular struggles. Indeed, student debtors too often report that their servicers give them bad information, that they have problems with loan transfers, and that they cannot access benefits like better repayment plans and forbearances – among numerous other issues.
We applaud that the new provision gives the CFPB regulatory oversight of all student loan servicers with an account volume of more than one million as a positive step toward curbing problems with student loan servicers. This regulation is estimated to cover the seven largest student loan servicers in the U.S. protection. However, we urge the CFPB to extend this important protection. Specifically, we recommend that:
1. When Congress mandates that a servicing contract be given to a student loan servicer,that servicer should be subject to CFPB oversight.
2. The threshold of number of accounts that triggers CFPB oversight should be lower.