WASHINGTON D.C. (BRPROUD) — A Louisiana congressman has introduced a bill that would give financial relief to disaster survivors with student loans.

Congressman Troy Carter’s bill is the No Double Debt for Disaster Survivors Act.

“The country is battling the worst pandemic in history,” said Congressman Carter. “We also face increasingly frequent and intense natural disasters. I have seen and heard firsthand from individuals who have lost everything, either due to COVID, flooding, or a hurricane. For many, these combined disasters have resulted in the need to take out one or more SBA disaster loans. The last thing people need when trying to get back on their feet is another loan weighing them down. Coupled with the fact that nearly one-third of all American students go into debt to pay for college, this double debt burden hurts our economy and additionally burdens those struggling to recover from COVID-19 and natural disasters. The people need relief.”

According to Congressman Carter, the bill would help in the following ways:

  • The bill authorizes the Secretary of Education to cancel outstanding student loan debt for SBA disaster loan borrowers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or a natural disaster.
  • The amount cancelled would not exceed the amount of the SBA disaster loan, and it would only eliminate the student loan debt, ensuring that no additional debt is created. 
  • The bill cancels outstanding student loan debt for those needing to take out SBA disaster loans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Creates an annual report to provide feedback to Congress, including the number of individuals with cancelled loans and the total dollar amount of the cancelled loans.

“The people of Louisiana and America shouldn’t be doubly punished after a disaster simply because they sought more education,” said Congressman Carter. “At a time when we are faced with intersecting crises, we need to give the people a chance to thrive without loan debt weighing them down. The No Double Debt for Disaster Survivors Act will reduce the burden of loan debt and bring a much-needed boost to our economy.”