Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Filemon Vela (D-TX) introduced the Protect Minority Student Borrowers Act of 2020. The bill will amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit private education lenders from discriminating against applicant’s based on the institution of higher education they attend or previously attended. The bill also directs the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study to better understand the extent to which private education lenders discriminate against applicants who attend minority-serving institutions of higher education.  

This legislation follows a report by the Student Borrower Protection Center, which found that borrowers who refinance their student loans through a company using education data may pay a penalty of up to $3,499 for being linked to a Minority Serving Institution, all other variables constant. 

“I am proud to introduce the Protect Minority Student Borrowers Act, legislation that ensures students facing historic barriers to higher education are not further hindered by discriminatory student loan repayment rates,” said Congressman Filemon Vela. Students should not be unfairly burdened by greater student loan debt for deciding to attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), Tribal College and University (TCU) or community college. 

“Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and community colleges have traditionally helped people of color, rural, first generation, and low-income students. The Protect Minority Student Borrowers Act will eliminate discrimination against these students who deserve equal and fair access to higher education.”