Earlier this month, Representative John Garamendi (D-CA08) and Representative Brian K. Fitzpatrick (R-PA01) reintroduced the bipartisan “Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act.” The act aims to address the ballooning student loan debt crisis facing over 40 million American students and their families.
The “Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act” (H.R.5710) would aim to allow students with federal loans to refinance their interest rates, lower future interest rates, eliminate origination fees on student loans, defer interest rate accrual for low-income and middle-class borrowers while they are pursuing their education, eliminate interest capitalization for federal student loans, and allow for borrowers in medical, dental, or veterinary residencies to defer payments until the completion of their program.
Ask Your Representative to Co-Sponsor the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act
Help keep our advocacy momentum going by contacting Members of Congress and asking them to co-sponsor the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act in the 118th Congress (the current Congressional session, running through January 2025).
Graduating orthodontic residents today average over $560,000 in student loan debt. Current federal student loan policy does not really account for a professional’s ability to repay student loans, resulting in policies that compound the student loan crisis and undermine a federal goal to expand the number of medical professionals in the United States.
The AAO is concerned about the burden of such large amounts of debt on its current members, in addition to discouraging future members – particularly those from underserved communities – from entering the specialty.
Congress eliminated the interest subsidy for graduate borrowers in 2011. Unlike other medical residents, most orthodontic residents do not receive a stipend or salary but instead pay tuition while in residency, leaving most to borrow large sums of money. The AAO supports efforts to preserve the undergraduate subsidy and the reinstatement of interest deferment on graduate and professional loans for low-income borrowers.
The AAO continues to work with our champions in Congress to find solutions to the growing student loan debt burden that impacts our members.
Please Support the AAO Political Action Committee
In addition, please help support AAO Advocacy priorities including student loan debt relief by making your 2023 contribution at AAOPAC.org. AAOPAC is helping to fuel our advocacy success not only in Washington, D.C. but in states throughout the country as well. Our AAOPAC Pillars of Giving are working and the AAO’s advocacy influence continues to grow through AAO member grassroots engagement.
AAO members from across the country will be advocating for legislation and policies that address mail-order orthodontic concerns, workforce shortage solutions, and student loan debt relief at the 2024 Professional Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. If you are interested in attending, please contact us at [email protected] to learn more. Space is limited.