JOLIET, Ill. – To create protections for student loan borrowers from predatory lending practices, state Rep. Larry Walsh, D-Joliet, is urging the governor to sign pass legislation that he supported creating a Student Loan “Bill of Rights” in Illinois.
“While the cost of a college education continues to increase every year, unprincipled student loan companies are taking advantage of students and offering misleading, predatory loans,” Walsh said. “There are many other industries that are regulated to protect consumers. Given the amount of borrowers who have been taken advantage of by misleading loan sharks, we should enact protections to help ensure students are not saddled with unfair loans.”
Walsh sponsored and voted to pass Senate Bill 1351, which in addition to establishing a Student Loan Bill of Rights, also creates a Student Loan Ombudsman within the Office of the Attorney General to assist students with any questions about the loan servicing process. The legislation also allows the Attorney General to enforce provisions that prohibit student loan servicers from engaging in unfair business practices. Finally, the legislation requires that all student loan vendors be licensed by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
“Pursuing a higher education degree should not result in crushing debt that can last a lifetime,” Walsh said. “It’s time to end unethical practices of predatory lenders, which is why I urge the governor to stand with young people in Illinois and sign this measure into law.”