A recent editorial, “State senators delay critical help for Maine graduates,” repeated a distorted narrative about the federal student loan program and the role of servicers, glossing over the fact that the federal government issues more than 90 percent of student loans. Servicers don’t determine the price of college, interest rates, or borrowing limits. Servicers also didn’t create the complex array of 56 repayment options.

Servicers help borrowers navigate this complex system, and we do it well. In the last three years, serious delinquencies and defaults have declined 24 percent and enrollment in income-driven repayment has nearly quadrupled.

For Navient-serviced direct loan borrowers, more than one in four are making monthly payments based on income. And, if we’re able to reach struggling federal borrowers, nine out of 10 times they will avoid default.

While well-intended, the state legislation to regulate a federal program does little to address the real issues of student debt. In fact, it runs counter to efforts to simplify federal student loan repayment. We will continue to work with Maine policymakers on reforms that make a difference, such as providing borrowers better front-end information, simplifying the repayment process, and encouraging borrowers to reach out to their student loan servicer, especially if they are struggling with repayment.

Sarah Ducich

senior vice president of public policy

Navient

Wilmington, Delaware