What happened: The Department of Education (DOE) blocked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from obtaining important data from private loan companies on a student loan forgiveness program. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program promises public service workers that their student loans will be forgiven after 10 years of loan payments, but according to DOE’s numbers, only 1% of people applying for the program are being approved. The CFPB’s data collection efforts were meant to find the root cause of the problem and fix it, but the Trump administration’s DOE ordered the private loan companies to not hand over the vast majority of this data.
Why it matters: When the government fails to collect data, policymaking will no longer be based on evidence and therefore the ability of our decisionmakers to implement policies or carry out investigations that protect the health, safety, and welfare of Americans will be compromised. The DOE’s efforts to block this data collection will stop the CFPB from implementing evidence-based policies that could benefit thousands of public service workers. Public service workers – whether they be firefighters, military service members, nonprofit workers, government workers or others – are doing a great service for this country and the Trump administration’s explicit refusal to allow an investigation into this non-functioning loan forgiveness program is chilling.
Learn more about how the Trump administration thwarted the CFPB’s efforts to collect data and fix the faulty student loan forgiveness program.