Pictured: Dr. Nahid Maleki with Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)
AAO recently spearheaded an effort, which involved 14 other dental groups, who all endorsed proposed legislation in the 115th Congress, that would allow graduates to more efficiently pay back student loans. Led by a bipartisan coalition, including Reps. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), the proposed legislation would provide parity in the ability to refinance student loans and would ensure that the federal government does not profit from student borrowers. The AAO recently wrote an official letter of endorsement, also signed by numerous other dental-related organizations. Key features of the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act include:
- Allowing borrowers to refinance their student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note rate, plus one percent, throughout the lifetime of the loan.
- Eliminating origination fees and instead set future student loan interest rates at the 10-year Treasury note rate, plus one percent.
- Delaying student loan interest rate accrual for many low- and middle-income borrowers while they are in school.
- Allowing for borrowers in medical or dental residencies to defer payments until the completion of their programs.
The letter notes that dental specialty graduates, such as orthodontists, have some of the highest average debt loads of any borrowers. If passed, the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act would create changes to the federal student loan program, which would allow all student borrowers to more efficiently pay back their loans, while also allowing them to make other important investments in their careers and futures (such as starting their own orthodontic practices). AAO members can view a full copy of the letter by clicking here.