Senate Confirms James Kvaal As Under Secretary of Education: How Your Student Loans May Be Affected

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James Kvaal was confirmed as the new Under Secretary for Education on Tuesday, after months serving the Department of Education as Deputy Under Secretary. Here’s what that could mean for your student loan debt. (iStock)

The Senate voted 58-37 to confirm James Kvaal as Undersecretary of Education on Tuesday, according to a press release from the Department of Education.

Kvaal was the president of the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), a nonprofit organization that conducts research and makes policy recommendations on student debt. As president of TICAS, Kvaal has overseen initiatives “to make tuition more affordable, protect students from unaffordable loans and help many more students graduate from college,” according to a statement from the secretary of the university. ‘Education Miguel Cardona.

Prior to serving as Undersecretary, Kvaal served during the Obama administration as deputy domestic policy adviser to the White House. He has also held leadership positions in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Kvaal attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where he graduated with honors.

Kvaal has been in the Assistant Undersecretary position since the start of the year, so his confirmation is unlikely to result in any significant immediate changes, like the cancellation of a student loan. But since Kvaal has a solid background in student loan policy, it’s important that borrowers think about the impact of his formal appointment on their college debt.

Read on to learn more about the new Under Secretary of Education and what it means for your federal student loans. If you are looking for advice on how to manage your student loan debt, visit Credible to learn more about your repayment options like refinancing.

THIS IS WHY FLOATING RATE STUDENT LOAN REFINANCING CAN BE A SMART MOVEMENT

James Kvaal’s Position on Federal Student Loans

Kvaal’s appointment did not come without challenges. In the months following his appointment as Under Secretary of Education, Kvaal must have won the support of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Warren – a staunch defender of student loan cancellation – had previously withheld her nomination, Politico reported.

“I have had productive conversations with Mr. Kvaal, the Department of Education and the White House, and I am pleased that they are committed to making substantial reforms to the administration of the student loan program,” Warren said in a statement.

The newly confirmed undersecretary has a long history of advocating for college affordability and oversight. He also expressed support for racial equity in higher education, as well as the extension of emergency COVID-19 forbearance on federal student loan payments.

He led efforts to reduce monthly student loan payments, hold career colleges accountable for excessive debt, and make community colleges free.

– Press release from the Ministry of Education of September 14

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR STUDENT LOAN DEPARTMENT CLOSES

One thing Kvaal’s platform lacks is widespread student loan debt cancellation.

Although the Biden administration has paid off about $ 10 billion in student debt for more than 500,000 borrowers, the president has yet to deliver on his campaign pledge to write off up to $ 10,000 in federal student loan debt. per borrower.

It remains unclear whether the Education Department will be able to pass sweeping student loan cancellation legislation. And with federal student loan payments resuming in just a few months, borrowers need to consider their student loan repayment options, including student loan refinancing.

If you do decide to refinance your student loan debt, be sure to compare the interest rates of several private lenders on Credible to ensure you are getting the lowest possible rate for your situation. It will not impact your credit score.

How to prepare for the end of federal student loan forbearance

Kvaal’s appointment doesn’t offer much information on whether the federal student loan forbearance will be extended again or whether borrowers will have part of their student loans canceled by the Education Department. For this reason, it is important to start planning for resuming payments now. Here are some steps you can take to prepare:

There is a caveat to refinancing, however. If you refinance your federal student loans to a private student loan, you will lose federal protections such as administrative forbearance and IDR plans. But if you want to refinance your private student loan debt, you might qualify for a much lower interest rate.

Learn more about refinancing student loans at Credible. You can use Credible’s student loan refinance calculator to determine if this is the right decision for you.

Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email the Credible Money Expert at [email protected] and your question could be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.


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