Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado have introduced H.R. 2976 Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act, a bipartisan bill that would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to allow for the deferment of certain student loan payments without interest during a period in which a borrower is receiving treatment for cancer. Text
“For these individuals, a cancer diagnosis goes beyond the exhaustive treatment, including medical expenditures,” Ros-Lehtinen said on the House floor. “It often leads to unemployment or underemployment.”
This is a commonsense solution that provides adolescents and young adults with a small amount of financial relief while they take time off from work or school typically without pay to receive cancer care, adding to the 11.2% national delinquency rate on student loans.
Once treatment is over, these young Americans can get back on their feet faster; returning to work or school with the expectation of being a contributing member of society. The Deferment for Active Cancer Treatment Act will enable individuals who are diagnosed with cancer to defer payments on public student loans while actively receiving treatment without interest accruing during the deferment period. This bill does not seek to change the terms of the public loan agreement between lender and borrower beyond placing a pause in repayments while cancer treatment is underway.
Kate Houghton heads a group called Critical Mass, The Young Adult Cancer Alliance, which provides resources for young adults with cancer. She is a Florida International University alumna and former Capitol Hill staffer who was diagnosed with cancer in her mid-20s. She is a champion of the bill and her organization is providing support to help pass this most needed legislation for our young adults.
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H.R. 2976 Cosponsors: 42 cosponsors (35D, 7R)