CHICAGO – To help provide financial relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic, state Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, is reminding residents about the expansion of payment relief available to individuals with privately managed student loans.
“The Federal CARES Act included relief for individuals with federally held student loans, but that unfortunately did not provide any relief for those with privately managed student loan debt,” LaPointe said. “To expand on those efforts, the state of Illinois has entered in a new partnership with other states and loan providers to provide payment relief to borrowers with private loans.”
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced a new initiative in partnership with twenty private student loan services to expand on the protections the federal government granted to federal student loan borrowers. Illinoisans with privately held student loans who are struggling to make payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic will now be eligible for expanded relief. Borrowers must immediately contact their student loan servicer to identify the options that are appropriate for to their circumstances. Relief options include: minimum 90 days of forbearance, waiving late payment fees, ensuring no borrower is subject to negative credit report, ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days, or enrollment in borrower assistance programs.
“With so much uncertainty throughout this pandemic, many people are worrying about how they will manage to pay their upcoming bills,” LaPointe said. “This new initiative provides much needed relief to those who may be struggling to make ends meet. I encourage borrowers to contact their loan providers to learn more about the relief options that are available.”
If a borrower is experiencing trouble with their student loan provider, they are encouraged to contact the Illinois Department of Financial Regulation Division of Banking at 217-785-2900 or the Attorney General’s Student Loan Helpline at 1-800-455-2456. Additional information can be found at www.idfpr.com/COVID-19.asp.