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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 30, 1993


Today, the Federal student loan programs provide billions of dollars to private lenders and other agencies -- billions of taxpayer dollars that do not go toward serving students. Furthermore, complex procedures and inflexible repayment plans create serious problems for some students. Burdened with debt and locked into insensitive repayment plans, many students cannot repay their loans, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. The current system doesn't serve students or taxpayers well.

This legislation reforms the student loan system with a less costly and less complicated alternative. The Administration's Student Aid Reform Act will provide all borrowers with flexible repayment options, including EXCEL Accounts, which allow borrowers to repay loans as a percentage of their incomes. It also reforms the student loan system by replacing the current guaranteed student loan system with a system of direct Federal lending. These changes will:


The EXCEL Account will, for the first time, allow all borrowers to pay off their loans as a percentage of their incomes. This income contingent repayment plan, together with other flexible repayment options, will give borrowers the opportunity to choose lower-paying service jobs regardless of the level of debt
incurred while in school. This new plan will also help to reduce student loan defaults.

Borrowers will have the opportunity to choose from a range of flexible repayment options to best fit their financial situation. In addition, borrowers will be able to switch repayment plans as their financial situations change.

EXCEL Accounts will provide for repayments that depend upon income. Borrowers will be able to repay over a longer period of time than in the other repayment options. The length of repayment will depend on the borrower's level of debt and income.

Fixed, graduated, and extended repayment plans will also be available to all borrowers.

IRS Role

To make repayment easier and more effective, the bill contains provisions to include the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the collection of student loans.


The legislation calls for the Federal government to make loans directly to students, substituting Federal borrowing for private capital. These changes will streamline the system, reduce interest rates for students, and save taxpayers billions of dollars.

The proposal will replace the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) programs with the Federal Direct Student Loan (FDSL) programs. Most students will receive all of their financial aid through their existing financial aid offices -- "one stop shopping".

Direct lending substitutes Federal capital for more expensive private capital and eliminates excess profits to lenders, saving $4.3 billion through fiscal year 1998. Under the plan, direct lending will phase in over four years, beginning in academic year 1994-1995. Federal capital will be used for all new student loans. The goal is to begin with 4 percent of new loan volume in direct lending in the first year, 25 percent the second year, 60 percent the third year, and full implementation in academic year 1997-1998.

Private lenders will no longer make, or "originate", student loans. Many postsecondary institutions will make loans themselves; others will use the services of alternative originators. No institution will be required, however, to originate loans itself. In addition, no school will "service" or collect loans.

Some features of the legislation regarding origination and servicing are:


The Department of Education will be responsible for monitoring and overseeing the student loan system as part of its overall oversight of the Federal student aid system. The Department is developing a detailed plan to ensure adequate loan capital in the event that private capital dries up. The legislation will provide the Department with additional authorities to move quickly if capital shortages occur.