Washington — The ADA is one of 15 dental organizations supporting the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act, legislation that would enable borrowers to more efficiently pay back their loans, according to ADA News.

In a letter to Reps. John Garamendi, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., the Organized Dentistry Coalition — led by the American Association of Orthodontists — praised the legislators for their support of reducing the student debt burden. Reps. Garamendi and Fitzpatrick are expected to introduce the bipartisan bill later this week or during the week of Sept. 11.

federal debt“On behalf of dental students, dental specialty residents and graduates who face a staggering amount of student loan debt, our organizations greatly appreciate your efforts in promoting this important legislation to help relieve the burden of student loans,” the coalition wrote. “In particular, we endorse the legislation because it seeks to provide parity in the ability to refinance student loans and ensures the federal government does not profit from student borrowers.”

The Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act would:

  • Allow borrowers to refinance their student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note rate, plus 1 percent, throughout the lifetime of the loan.
  • Eliminate origination fees and instead set future student loan interest rates at the 10-year Treasury note rate, plus 1 percent.
  • Delay student loan interest rate accrual for many low- and middle-income borrowers while they are in school.
  • Allow for borrowers in medical or dental residencies to defer payments until the completion of their programs.

The coalition pointed out that dental and dental specialty graduates have some of the highest average debt loads of any borrowers. They noted that by improving student loan repayment parameters, it will allow borrowers to make other important investments in their careers and futures such as starting a business or purchasing a home — changes that are “essential to providing a fair and equitable loan system for future borrowers and also to jumpstarting the U.S. economy.”

“We are pleased to see that the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act again has bipartisan support in the 115th Congress, and we look forward to working with you to promote the measure,” the letter concluded.

Read the letter here.

Follow all of the ADA’s advocacy efforts at ADA.org/Advocacy.