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Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced the Terrorism Survivors Student Loan Deferment Act (S.1796), legislation that would allow survivors of terrorist attacks to receive automatic deferments of their student loan payments. After the terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016, survivors of the attack were eligible for relief, but, due to the extreme nature of their circumstances, were not automatically recognized. Rubio’s bill would grant the U.S. Department of Education the authority to provide automatic federal student loan deferments to any survivor of a terrorist attack.
 
“After the terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub, my office was able to assist one young man who suffered injuries that may have prevented him from pursuing his career, ultimately making it difficult for him to repay his student loans on time,” Rubio said. “Currently, existing law does not automatically recognize an extraordinary situation like this, allowing survivors to delay repayments while they regroup. My commonsense bill would change that and allow anyone who survives a terrorist attack to have some time to get their life back on track.”
 
The Terrorism Survivors Student Loan Deferment Act would:
  • Not count against the typical three-year maximum deferment allowance, but would provide a one-year pause for victims so they can either get back on their feet or pursue further deferment or forbearance.
  • Direct the U.S. Secretary of Education to establish anti-fraud protections.
  • Apply to borrowers of Federal Direct Loans under part D, older part B loans and Perkins Loans.  
  • Designate the federal agency in charge of investigating the terrorist attack as responsible for identifying those affected as victims.
 
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