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The service the U.S. Education Department provides to student loan borrowers is "poor" in several areas and needs significant improvement, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a report Wednesday. The report found limitations in borrowers' access to federal service call centers, the department's complaint tracking and other areas, and made a series of recommendations aimed at improving the situation.

The government's servicing of loans has become a political football particularly since the Obama administration moved to take over origination of all federally subsidized loans during its first term in office, though the administration now takes shots from the right (which perceived a government takeover) and from the left (on behalf of borrowers).