A top priority of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Administration is providing all Washingtonians with a fair shot so they can share in the District’s prosperity and economic growth. Obtaining a college education is one of the best ways to achieve this goal. A major challenge facing District families and students, however, is the excessive cost of college and graduate school. Many students must obtain loans to help make their dreams a reality. Consequently, graduates incur substantial student loan debt.
The Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) is responsible for licensing student loan servicers operating in the District of Columbia. If you have concerns regarding student loans you can reach out to Ricardo Jefferson, the Student Loan Ombudsman at (202) 727-8000 or [email protected].
DISB helps make higher education more available and affordable for District residents through its Student Loan Ombudsman—a position created in 2017 by the Student Loan Ombudsman Establishment and Servicing Regulation Amendment Act of 2016.
The Ombudsman assists students and their families in three key ways:
- Helps families and prospective students identify alternate sources of funding and minimize student loan debt.
- Shows college graduates how to understand loan repayment options and identify and qualify for debt relief programs.
- Assists in the regulation of student loan servicers and the resolution of complaints from borrowers.
Role of Ombudsman
The Ombudsman is an unbiased and confidential resource and evaluates the concerns of District borrowers and student loan servicers to promote collaborative solutions. The Ombudsman cannot represent borrowers or make decisions about specific loan forgiveness or repayment plans. The Ombudsman can provide information and guidance on many issues related to student debt that include:
- Sources of college funding
- Student loan repayment programs
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program
- Resolution of complaints with student loan servicers
- Student loan consolidation
- Student loan default prevention