HILLSIDE, Ill. – Maintaining his commitment to ensuring student borrowers are not misled by predatory lenders, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is promoting legislation that establishes clear rules and regulations for student loan servicers in Illinois that prioritize students’ needs over lenders’ profits.

“Students seeking to attend any of Illinois’ universities will rest easier knowing that they will not be secretly gouged by lenders when they apply for a loan,” Welch said. “Now, lenders will have to show potential students exactly what type of deal they are entering into so that those students can avoid falling into a financial abyss.”

Welch, who chairs the Illinois House Higher Education Committee, sponsored Senate Bill 1351 which establishes the Student Loan Bill of Rights requiring lenders to review all available repayment options with students so they are fully aware of their choices. The law will create a student loan watchdog within the office of the attorney general to prevent student loan servicers from engaging in unfair business practices. Finally, Welch’s law requires that all student loan vendors be licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. This takes effect at the end of this year.

“Illinois needs to send a message to the rest of the nation that students come first, and that lenders should make that their ultimate goal instead of cheating them out of a debt-free future,” Welch said. “Providing more tools to students giving them the power to build and plan their careers is what Illinois needs, not penniless students who cannot find work because of predatory lenders who just want money.”

Rep Emanuel Chris WelchRep Emanuel Chris Welch

7th District

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