SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – To protect students and student loan borrowers from predatory lending practices, state Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, recently supported legislation that would create a Student Loan Bill of Rights in Illinois.
“The average Illinois college graduate enters the workforce with nearly $30,000 in student loan debt,” Mussman said. “Because some student loan servicers have been able to get away with misleading borrowers about the options available to them, more of our children are entering adulthood saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Young professionals who should be investing in assets like homes and cars are instead playing catch-up for several years, all because they decided to get an education. This shouldn’t be.”
Mussman 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.
“As the mother of a college student, I understand the need for protections for individuals who have taken out loans, particularly when predatory lenders are putting a target on their back,” Mussman said. “I’m urging Governor Rauner to sign Senate Bill 1351 to give our young people the best possible chance to pay back their loans in a timely manner and build their careers on a level financial playing field.”