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Betsy DeVos, the U.S. secretary of education, on Tuesday proposed creating a new, stand-alone federal agency to manage the Education Department's $1.5 trillion student loan portfolio.

"Congress never set up the U.S. Department of Education to be a bank," DeVos said in prepared remarks at the annual Federal Student Aid (FSA) conference.

She called FSA an "untamed beast." And DeVos said the Trump administration wants to create a new agency to manage student lending -- a change Congress would need to make -- in part because FSA is pulled in different political directions every couple years.

"Just look at today's parade of repayment options, forgiveness plans, unlimited lending and complex rules that FSA -- and you -- have been asked to implement, and then explain to students and their families," she said. "Congress asked FSA to implement each new program and each new plan, with the same old infrastructure, and no common-sense governance model."

A new student lending agency should operate like a "world-class financial firm," said DeVos. And she said such a stand-alone government corporation should be run by an expert and apolitical governing board.

DeVos touted reforms the Trump administration so far has made to FSA, including improvements to customer service, which she said has made the office stronger and student centered. And she unveiled a new chat bot, dubbed Aidan, that will answer questions borrowers have about their loans and repayment plans.