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NPR新闻听力(音频+翻译):美低收入学生摆脱贷款变得更难

日期: 来源:比比西英语网

Student loan payments can end up being a part of your life for a very long time.

学生贷款还款可能会在很长一段时间内成为生活的一部分。

I know this from personal experience.

我的个人经历让我了解到这一点。

NPR has done this investigation into federal loan programs and found that they are not exactly living up to their promises to borrowers.

美国国家公共电台(NPR)对联邦贷款项目进行了调查,发现这些项目并没有完全履行对借款人的承诺。

Yeah, they specifically looked at programs designed to help eligible low-income students get affordable monthly payments and ultimately debt free.

是的,他们特别关注了旨在帮助符合条件的低收入学生获得负担得起的月供并最终摆脱债务的项目。

But the results of an exclusive NPR investigation point to years of mismanagement and mistakes by the Department of Education that have made it more difficult for borrowers to get their loans erased.

但NPR的独家调查结果指出,美国教育部多年来的管理不善和失误,使得借款人更难摆脱贷款。

So, first off, just explain more about these particular repayment plans.

首先,请详细解释一下这些具体的还款计划。

Yeah, they fall under this umbrella - you've probably heard the term - income-driven repayment or IDR.

好,这些还款计划属于这个范畴——你可能听说过这个术语——收入驱动型还款(IDR)。

IDR offers borrowers a smaller monthly payment that can change each year depending on income and family size,

收入驱动型还款为借款人提供了较少的月供,月供可根据收入和家庭规模每年变化,

which means that truly low-income borrowers can end up with, you know, $5 payment or even an official $0 monthly payment.

这意味着真正低收入的借款人最终可以获得5美元的月供,甚至是官方的0美元月供。

And then after 20 to 25 years, whatever's left of their student debts will be canceled.

20到25年后,他们剩下的学生债务将被取消。

So what did you find?

那么你发现了什么?

So NPR obtained internal Education Department documents, including a review the department did back in 2016, right before the election, of its student loan servicers and how they were handling IDR.

NPR获得了美国教育部的内部文件,包括教育部在2016年大选前对其学生贷款服务机构的报告,以及服务机构如何处理收入驱动型还款计划的报告。

And it found that servicers had been making mistakes for years.

文件发现服务机构多年来一直在犯错误。

For example, servicers are supposed to track IDR payments so they can obviously tell borrowers when they qualify for a debt cancellation.

例如,服务机构应该跟踪收入驱动型还款计划的支付情况,这样他们就可以明确地告诉借款人他们什么时候有资格取消债务。

But this review found that several servicers didn't even have IDR payment counters, so it was up to borrowers to call and ask and trigger the servicer to manually go back through two decades of records.

但这一报告发现,一些服务机构甚至没有收入驱动型还款的支付计数记录,因此,这取决于借款人打电话、询问、激发服务人员手动查看20年的记录。

Do the servicers at least have those records of qualifying payments?

服务机构是否至少有那些符合条件的付款记录吗?

Well, that's another problem from this report.

这是这份报告的另一个问题。

It says that those $0 payments that we talked about were, quote, "not adequately tracked."

服务机构称,我们所说的那些零美元还款,“没有得到充分的跟踪”。

Now, remember, for those lowest income borrowers, loan cancellation after 20 years isn't just a perk, Rachel.

现在,记住,对于那些收入最低的借款人来说,20年后取消贷款不仅仅是一种福利,瑞秋。

For many, it is a lifeline.

对许多人来说,这是一条生命线。

Late yesterday, I ran my findings by the top two members on the House Education Committee, and in a rare show of bipartisanship, they both used the same word, calling it a mess.

昨天晚些时候,我向众议院教育委员会的两名高级成员提交了我的调查结果,两党罕见地意见一致,他们都使用了同一个词,称其为一团糟。

Here's Democrat Bobby Scott and Republican Virginia Foxx.

以下是民主党人鲍比·斯科特和共和党人弗吉尼亚·福克斯的报道。

We knew there was a mess.

我们知道那里一团糟。

We had no idea it was this bad.

我们不知道情况会这么糟。

If you've made qualifying payments, you need to get credit for them.

如果你已经完成了符合资格的还款,你需要把还款记入总账。

The department could have avoided this mess if the department had done its job.

如果该部门做好了自己的工作,就可以避免这场混乱。

And, Rachel, by its job, Foxx says the department never actually gave servicers clear, consistent guidance on how to manage IDR.

而且,瑞秋,就部门工作而言,福克斯表示,该部门实际上从未就如何管理收入驱动型还款向服务机构提供明确、一致的指导。

I imagine you've reached out to the Department of Education. What have they said?

我想你已经联系过教育部了吧。 他们说了什么?

I have. The department did not respond in time to our request for comment.

我确实联系过了。该部门没有及时回应我们的置评请求。

But, you know, they're in a tough spot because the first IDR plan was created back in the mid-'90s.

但是,他们现在处境艰难,因为第一个收入驱动型还款计划是在90年代中期创建的。

So the current administration did not create this problem.

所以这个问题不是现任政府造成的。

The question for the Biden administration, though, is how do you try to address a problem that's been building for more than two decades?

然而,拜登政府面临的问题是,如何试图解决这个已经存在了20多年的问题?

The good news here is there - some big, forward-looking changes have already been made or are in the works.

好消息是,一些具有前瞻性的重大变革已经或正在进行中。

Those won't do anything for borrowers who've been hurt by IDR's past problems.

对于那些因收入驱动型还款的问题而受到伤害的借款人来说,这些都不会起到任何作用。

That's something the department's going to want to look at as it decides when or whether to restart student loan payments.

这是教育部在决定何时重启或是否重启学生贷款支付时要考虑的问题。

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