- § 292. Statement of purpose
- § 292a. Scope and duration of loan insurance program
- § 292b. Limitations on individual insured loans and on loan insurance
- § 292c. Sources of funds
- § 292d. Eligibility of borrowers and terms of insured loans
- § 292e. Certificate of loan insurance; effective date of insurance
- § 292f. Default of borrower
- § 292g. Risk-based premiums
- § 292h. Office for Health Education Assistance Loan Default Reduction
- § 292i. Insurance account
- § 292j. Powers and responsibilities of Secretary
- § 292k. Participation by Federal credit unions in Federal, State, and private student loan insurance programs
- § 292l. Determination of eligible students
- § 292m. Repayment by Secretary of loans of deceased or disabled borrowers
- § 292n. Additional requirements for institutions and lenders
- § 292o. Definitions
- § 292p. Authorization of appropriations
The purpose of this subpart is to enable the Secretary to provide a Federal program of student loan insurance for students in (and certain former students of) eligible institutions (as defined in section 292o of this title).
The total principal amount of new loans made and installments paid pursuant to lines of credit (as defined in section 292o of this title) to borrowers covered by Federal loan insurance under this subpart shall not exceed $350,000,000 for fiscal year 1993, $375,000,000 for fiscal year 1994, and $425,000,000 for fiscal year 1995. If the total amount of new loans made and installments paid pursuant to lines of credit in any fiscal year is less than the ceiling established for such year, the difference between the loans made and installments paid and the ceiling shall be carried over to the next fiscal year and added to the ceiling applicable to that fiscal year, and if in any fiscal year no ceiling has been established, any difference carried over shall constitute the ceiling for making new loans (including loans to new borrowers) and paying installments for such fiscal year. Thereafter, Federal loan insurance pursuant to this subpart may be granted only for loans made (or for loan installments paid pursuant to lines of credit) to enable students, who have obtained prior loans insured under this subpart, to continue or complete their educational program or to obtain a loan under section 292d(a)(1)(B) of this title to pay interest on such prior loans; but no insurance may be granted for any loan made or installment paid after September 30, 1998. The total principal amount of Federal loan insurance available under this subsection shall be granted by the Secretary without regard to any apportionment for the purpose of chapter 15 of title 31 and without regard to any similar limitation.
The Secretary may, if necessary to assure an equitable distribution of the benefits of this subpart, assign, within the maximum amounts specified in subsection (a), Federal loan insurance quotas applicable to eligible lenders, or to States or areas, and may from time to time reassign unused portions of these quotas.
Subject to paragraph (2), the Student Loan Marketing Association, established under part B of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 1071 et seq.], is authorized to make advances on the security of, purchase, service, sell, consolidate, or otherwise deal in loans which are insured by the Secretary under this subpart, except that if any loan made under this subpart is included in a consolidated loan pursuant to the authority of the Association under part B of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the interest rate on such consolidated loan shall be set at the weighted average interest rate of all such loans offered for consolidation and the resultant per centum shall be rounded downward to the nearest one-eighth of 1 per centum, except that the interest rate shall be no less than the applicable interest rate of the guaranteed student loan program established under part B of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. In the case of such a consolidated loan, the borrower shall be responsible for any interest which accrues prior to the beginning of the repayment period of the loan, or which accrues during a period in which principal need not be paid (whether or not such principal is in fact paid) by reason of any provision of the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.].
With respect to Federal regulations for lenders, this subpart may not be construed to preclude the applicability of such regulations to the Student Loan Marketing Association or to any other entity in the business of purchasing student loans, including such regulations with respect to applications, contracts, and due diligence.
The total of the loans made to a student in any academic year or its equivalent (as determined by the Secretary) which may be covered by Federal loan insurance under this subpart may not exceed $20,000 in the case of a student enrolled in a school of medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, or podiatric medicine, and $12,500 in the case of a student enrolled in a school of pharmacy, public health, allied health, or chiropractic, or a graduate program in health administration or behavioral and mental health practice, including clinical psychology. The aggregate insured unpaid principal amount for all such insured loans made to any borrower shall not at any time exceed $80,000 in the case of a borrower who is or was a student enrolled in a school of medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, or podiatric medicine, and $50,000 in the case of a borrower who is or was a student enrolled in a school of pharmacy, public health, allied health, or chiropractic, or a graduate program in health administration or clinical psychology. The annual insurable limit per student shall not be exceeded by a line of credit under which actual payments by the lender to the borrower will not be made in any year in excess of the annual limit.
The insurance liability on any loan insured by the Secretary under this subpart shall be 100 percent of the unpaid balance of the principal amount of the loan plus interest. The full faith and credit of the United States is pledged to the payment of all amounts which may be required to be paid under the provisions of section 292f or 292m of this title.
Loans made by eligible lenders in accordance with this subpart shall be insurable by the Secretary whether made from funds fully owned by the lender or from funds held by the lender in a trust or similar capacity and available for such loans.
The rate of interest prescribed and defined by the Secretary for the purpose of subsection (a)(2)(D) may not exceed the average of the bond equivalent rates of the 91-day Treasury bills auctioned for the previous quarter plus 3 percentage points, rounded to the next higher one-eighth of 1 percent.
The total of the payments by a borrower during any year or any repayment period with respect to the aggregate amount of all loans to that borrower which are insured under this subpart shall not be less than the annual interest on the outstanding principal, except as provided in subsection (a)(2)(C), unless the borrower, in the written agreement described in subsection (a)(2), agrees to make payments during any year or any repayment period in a lesser amount.
No provision of any law of the United States (other than subsections (a)(2)(D) and (b)) or of any State that limits the rate or amount of interest payable on loans shall apply to a loan insured under this subpart.
Any period of time granted to a borrower under this subpart in the form of forbearance on the loan shall not be included in the 25-year total loan repayment period under subsection (a)(2)(C).
Lenders and holders under this subpart shall offer borrowers graduated loan repayment schedules that, during the first 5 years of loan repayment, are based on the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio.
With respect to any determination of the financial need of a student for a loan covered by Federal loan insurance under this subpart, this subpart may not be construed to limit the authority of any school to make such allowances for students with special circumstances as the school determines appropriate.
If, upon application by an eligible lender, made upon such form, containing such information, and supported by such evidence as the Secretary may require, and otherwise in conformity with this section, the Secretary finds that the applicant has made a loan to an eligible borrower which is insurable under the provisions of this subpart, he may issue to the applicant a certificate of insurance covering the loan and setting forth the amount and terms of the insurance.
Insurance evidenced by a certificate of insurance pursuant to subsection (a)(1) shall become effective upon the date of issuance of the certificate, except that the Secretary is authorized, in accordance with regulations, to issue commitments with respect to proposed loans, or with respect to lines (or proposed lines) of credit, submitted by eligible lenders, and in that event, upon compliance with subsection (a)(1) by the lender, the certificate of insurance may be issued effective as of the date when any loan, or any payment by the lender pursuant to a line of credit, to be covered by such insurance is made to a student described in section 292d(a)(1) of this title. Such insurance shall cease to be effective upon 60 days’ default by the lender in the payment of any installment of the premiums payable pursuant to section 292g of this title.
In lieu of requiring a separate insurance application and issuing a separate certificate of insurance for each loan made by an eligible lender as provided in subsection (a), the Secretary may, in accordance with regulations consistent with section 292a of this title, issue to any eligible lender applying therefor a certificate of comprehensive insurance coverage which shall, without further action by the Secretary, insure all insurable loans made by that lender, on or after the date of the certificate and before a specified cutoff date, within the limits of an aggregate maximum amount stated in the certificate. Such regulations may provide for conditioning such insurance, with respect to any loan, upon compliance by the lender with such requirements (to be stated or incorporated by reference in the certificate) as in the Secretary’s judgment will best achieve the purpose of this subsection while protecting the financial interest of the United States and promoting the objectives of this subpart, including (but not limited to) provisions as to the reporting of such loans and information relevant thereto to the Secretary and as to the payment of initial and other premiums and the effect of default therein, and including provision for confirmation by the Secretary from time to time (through endorsement of the certificate) of the coverage of specific new loans by such certificate, which confirmation shall be incontestable by the Secretary in the absence of fraud or misrepresentation of fact or patent error.
If the holder of a certificate of comprehensive insurance coverage issued under this subsection grants to a borrower a line of credit extending beyond the cutoff date specified in that certificate, loans or payments thereon made by the holder after that date pursuant to the line of credit shall not be deemed to be included in the coverage of that certificate except as may be specifically provided therein; but, subject to the limitations of section 292a of this title, the Secretary may, in accordance with regulations, make commitments to insure such future loans or payments, and such commitments may be honored either as provided in subsection (a) or by inclusion of such insurance in comprehensive coverage under this subsection for the period or periods in which such future loans or payments are made.
The consolidation of the obligations of two or more federally insured loans obtained by a borrower in any fiscal year into a single obligation evidenced by a single instrument of indebtedness or the refinancing of a single loan shall not affect the insurance by the United States. If the loans thus consolidated are covered by separate certificates of insurance issued under subsection (a), the Secretary may upon surrender of the original certificates issue a new certificate of insurance in accordance with that subsection upon the consolidated obligation. If the loans thus consolidated are covered by a single comprehensive certificate issued under subsection (b), the Secretary may amend that certificate accordingly.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the lender and the borrower, by mutual agreement, from consolidating all of the borrower’s loans insured under this subpart into a single instrument (or, if the borrower obtained only 1 loan insured under this subpart, refinancing the loan 1 time) under the terms applicable to an insured loan made at the same time as the consolidation. The lender or loan holder should provide full information to the borrower concerning the advantages and disadvantages of loan consolidation or refinancing. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the consolidation of the borrower’s loans insured under this subpart under section 1078–3 of title 20. Any loans insured pursuant to this subpart that are consolidated under section 1078–3 of title 20 shall not be eligible for special allowance payments under section 1087–1 of title 20.
Upon default by the borrower on any loan covered by Federal loan insurance pursuant to this subpart, and after a substantial collection effort (including, subject to subsection (h), commencement and prosecution of an action) as determined under regulations of the Secretary, the insurance beneficiary shall promptly notify the Secretary and the Secretary shall, if requested (at that time or after further collection efforts) by the beneficiary, or may on his own motion, if the insurance is still in effect, pay to the beneficiary the amount of the loss sustained by the insured upon that loan as soon as that amount has been determined, except that, if the insurance beneficiary including any servicer of the loan is not designated for “exceptional performance”, as set forth in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall pay to the beneficiary a sum equal to 98 percent of the amount of the loss sustained by the insured upon that loan.
Where the Secretary determines that an eligible lender, holder, or servicer has a compliance performance rating that equals or exceeds 97 percent, the Secretary shall designate that eligible lender, holder, or servicer, as the case may be, for exceptional performance.
For purposes of subparagraph (A), a compliance performance rating is determined with respect to compliance with due diligence in the disbursement, servicing, and collection of loans under this subpart for each year for which the determination is made. Such rating shall be equal to the percentage of all due diligence requirements applicable to each loan, on average, as established by the Secretary, with respect to loans serviced during the period by the eligible lender, holder, or servicer.
Each eligible lender, holder, or servicer desiring a designation under subparagraph (A) shall have an annual financial and compliance audit conducted with respect to the loan portfolio of such eligible lender, holder, or servicer, by a qualified independent organization from a list of qualified organizations identified by the Secretary and in accordance with standards established by the Secretary. The standards shall measure the lender’s, holder’s, or servicer’s compliance with due diligence standards and shall include a defined statistical sampling technique designed to measure the performance rating of the eligible lender, holder, or servicer for the purpose of this section. Each eligible lender, holder, or servicer shall submit the audit required by this section to the Secretary.
The Secretary shall make the determination under subparagraph (A) based upon the audits submitted under this paragraph and any information in the possession of the Secretary or submitted by any other agency or office of the Federal Government.
To maintain its status as an exceptional performer, the lender, holder, or servicer shall undergo a quarterly compliance audit at the end of each quarter (other than the quarter in which status as an exceptional performer is established through a financial and compliance audit, as described in subparagraph (C)), and submit the results of such audit to the Secretary. The compliance audit shall review compliance with due diligence requirements for the period beginning on the day after the ending date of the previous audit, in accordance with standards determined by the Secretary.
The Secretary shall revoke the designation of a lender, holder, or servicer under subparagraph (A) if any quarterly audit required under subparagraph (E) is not received by the Secretary by the date established by the Secretary or if the audit indicates the lender, holder, or servicer has failed to meet the standards for designation as an exceptional performer under subparagraph (A). A lender, holder, or servicer receiving a compliance audit not meeting the standard for designation as an exceptional performer may reapply for designation under subparagraph (A) at any time.
Nothing in this section shall restrict or limit the authority of the Secretary to require the submission of claims documentation evidencing servicing performed on loans, except that the Secretary may not require exceptional performers to submit greater documentation than that required for lenders, holders, and servicers not designated under subparagraph (A).
Each eligible lender, holder, or servicer shall pay for all the costs associated with the audits required under this section.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a designation under subparagraph (A) may be revoked at any time by the Secretary if the Secretary determines that the eligible lender, holder, or servicer has failed to maintain an overall level of compliance consistent with the audit submitted by the eligible lender, holder, or servicer under this paragraph or if the Secretary asserts that the lender, holder, or servicer may have engaged in fraud in securing designation under subparagraph (A) or is failing to service loans in accordance with program requirements.
A lender, holder, or servicer designated under subparagraph (A) that fails to service loans or otherwise comply with applicable program regulations shall be considered in violation of the Federal False Claims Act.
Upon payment by the Secretary of the amount of the loss pursuant to subsection (a), the United States shall be subrogated for all of the rights of the holder of the obligation upon the insured loan and shall be entitled to an assignment of the note or other evidence of the insured loan by the insurance beneficiary. If the net recovery made by the Secretary on a loan after deduction of the cost of that recovery (including reasonable administrative costs) exceeds the amount of the loss, the excess shall be paid over to the insured. The Secretary may sell without recourse to eligible lenders (or other entities that the Secretary determines are capable of dealing in such loans) notes or other evidence of loans received through assignment under the first sentence.
Nothing in this section or in this subpart shall be construed to preclude any forbearance for the benefit of the borrower which may be agreed upon by the parties to the insured loan and approved by the Secretary or to preclude forbearance by the Secretary in the enforcement of the insured obligation after payment on that insurance.
Nothing in this section or in this subpart shall be construed to excuse the eligible lender or holder of a federally insured loan from exercising reasonable care and diligence in the making of loans under the provisions of this subpart and from exercising a substantial effort in the collection of loans under the provisions of this subpart. If the Secretary, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing to an eligible lender, finds that the lender has failed to exercise such care and diligence, to exercise such substantial efforts, to make the reports and statements required under section 292e(a)(3) of this title, or to pay the required Federal loan insurance premiums, he shall disqualify that lender from obtaining further Federal insurance on loans granted pursuant to this subpart until he is satisfied that its failure has ceased and finds that there is reasonable assurance that the lender will in the future exercise necessary care and diligence, exercise substantial effort, or comply with such requirements, as the case may be.
The Secretary shall, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, cause to be reduced Federal reimbursements or payments for health services under any Federal law to borrowers who are practicing their professions and have defaulted on their loans insured under this subpart in amounts up to the remaining balance of such loans. Procedures for reduction of payments under the medicare program are provided under section 1395ccc of this title. Notwithstanding such section 1395ccc of this title, any funds recovered under this subsection shall be deposited in the insurance fund established under section 292i of this title.
With respect to an eligible lender or holder that has commenced an action pursuant to subsection (a), the Secretary shall make the payment required in such subsection, or deny the claim for such payment, not later than 60 days after the date on which the Secretary determines that the lender or holder has made reasonable efforts to secure a judgment and collect on the judgment entered into pursuant to this subsection.
With respect to any State court judgment that is obtained by a lender or holder against a borrower for default on a loan insured under this subpart and that is subrogated to the United States under subsection (b), any United States attorney may register such judgment with the Federal courts for enforcement.
Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal or State law, there shall be no limitation on the period within which suit may be filed, a judgment may be enforced, or an offset, garnishment, or other action may be initiated or taken by the Secretary, the Attorney General, or other administrative head of another Federal agency, as the case may be, for the repayment of the amount due from a borrower on a loan made under this subpart that has been assigned to the Secretary under subsection (b).
An institution or postgraduate training program attended by a borrower may assist in the collection of any loan of that borrower made under this subpart which becomes delinquent, including providing information concerning the borrower to the Secretary and to past and present lenders and holders of the borrower’s loans, contacting the borrower in order to encourage repayment, and withholding services in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary under section 292n(a)(7) of this title. The institution or postgraduate training program shall not be subject to section 1692g of title 15 for purposes of carrying out activities authorized by this section.
With respect to a loan made under this subpart on or after January 1, 1993, the Secretary, in accordance with subsection (b), shall assess a risk-based premium on an eligible borrower and, if required under this section, an eligible institution that is based on the default rate of the eligible institution involved (as defined in section 292o of this title).
With respect to an eligible borrower seeking to obtain a loan for attendance at an eligible institution that has a default rate of not to exceed five percent, such borrower shall be assessed a risk-based premium in an amount equal to 6 percent of the principal amount of the loan.
An institution of the type described in subparagraph (A) shall prepare and submit to the Secretary for approval, an annual default management plan, that shall specify the detailed short-term and long-term procedures that such institution will have in place to minimize defaults on loans to borrowers under this subpart. Under such plan the institution shall, among other measures, provide an exit interview to all borrowers that includes information concerning repayment schedules, loan deferments, forbearance, and the consequences of default.
An institution of the type described in subparagraph (A) shall prepare and submit to the Secretary for approval a plan that meets the requirements of paragraph (2)(B).
An individual shall not be eligible to obtain a loan under this subpart for attendance at an institution that has a default rate in excess of 20 percent.
Lenders shall reduce by 50 percent the risk-based premium to eligible borrowers if a credit worthy parent or other responsible party co-signs the loan note.
The Secretary shall afford an institution not less than one hearing, and may consider mitigating circumstances, prior to making such institution ineligible for participation in the program under this subpart.
In carrying out this section with respect to an institution, the Secretary may grant an institution a waiver of requirements of paragraphs (2) through (4) of subsection (b) if the Secretary determines that the default rate for such institution is not an accurate indicator because the volume of the loans under this subpart made by such institution has been insufficient.
An institution may pay off the outstanding principal and interest owed by the borrowers of such institution who have defaulted on loans made under this subpart in order to reduce the risk category of the institution.
The Secretary shall establish, within the Division of Student Assistance of the Bureau of Health Professions, an office to be known as the Office for Health Education Assistance Loan Default Reduction (in this section referred to as the “Office”).
In the case of amounts reserved under section 292i(a)(2)(B) of this title for obligation under this subsection, the Secretary may obligate the amounts for the purpose of administering the Office, including 7 full-time equivalent employment positions for such Office. With respect to such purpose, amounts made available under the preceding sentence are in addition to amounts made available to the Health Resources and Services Administration for program management for the fiscal year involved. With respect to such employment positions, the positions are in addition to the number of full-time equivalent employment positions that otherwise is authorized for the Department of Health and Human Services for the fiscal year involved.
There is hereby established a student loan insurance account (in this section referred to as the “Account”) which shall be available without fiscal year limitation to the Secretary for making payments in connection with the collection and default of loans insured under this subpart by the Secretary.
All payments in connection with the default of loans insured by the Secretary under this subpart shall be paid from the Account.
If at any time the moneys in the Account are insufficient to make payments in connection with the collection or default of any loan insured by the Secretary under this subpart, the Secretary of the Treasury may lend the Account such amounts as may be necessary to make the payments involved, subject to the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 [2 U.S.C. 661 et seq.].
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, Federal credit unions shall, pursuant to regulations of the Administrator of the National Credit Union Administration, have power to make insured loans to eligible students in accordance with the provisions of this subpart relating to Federal insured loans.
For purposes of determining eligible students under this part, in the case of a public school in a State that offers an accelerated, integrated program of study combining undergraduate premedical education and medical education leading to advanced entry, by contractual agreement, into an accredited four-year school of medicine which provides the remaining training leading to a degree of doctor of medicine, whenever in this part a provision refers to a student at a school of medicine, such reference shall include only a student enrolled in any of the last four years of such accelerated, integrated program of study.
If a borrower who has received a loan dies or becomes permanently and totally disabled (as determined in accordance with regulations of the Secretary), the Secretary shall discharge the borrower’s liability on the loan by repaying the amount owed on the loan from the account established under section 292i of this title.
The Secretary shall require an eligible institution to record, and make available to the lender and to the Secretary upon request, the name, address, postgraduate destination, and other reasonable identifying information for each student of such institution who has a loan insured under this subpart.
Each participating eligible institution must have, at the beginning of each academic year, a workshop concerning the provisions of this subpart that all student borrowers shall be required to attend.
For fiscal year 1993 and subsequent fiscal years, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the adequacy of the student loan insurance account under this subpart and for the purpose of administering this subpart.
Sums appropriated under subsection (a) shall remain available until expended.