Military Student Loan Charges Draw Increased Scrutiny

Mar 1, 2016
Originally published on March 1, 2016 6:54 pm

A federal law caps the interest rates that lenders can charge military service members, but a new report says lenders don't always follow that law.

The report released today from the U.S. Department of Education’s inspector general suggests more service members are paying too much for their loans than the government had previously revealed.

The department said earlier that just 1 percent of service members' loans were mishandled. Investigators called that initial report statistically flawed, inaccurate and invalid.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) was one of three senators who requested the second look.

“If it was one person overcharged it was wrong and they need to fix it," Murray said. "We will get to the bottom of this. We will hold them accountable. Service members deserve to get reimbursed for what they were overcharged."

A  law called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act caps student loan interest at 6 percent for military personnel while they're on active duty. 

A Department of Education statement said it takes very seriously the report’s findings and its responsibility to protect borrowers, especially those who serve in uniform.

Copyright 2016 KUOW-FM. To see more, visit KUOW-FM.