CHICAGO – To provide additional protections to students and individuals paying off their student loans, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, recently supported legislation that would create a Student Loan Bill of Rights in Illinois.
“Illinois’ college graduates can be saddled with as much as $30,000 in student loan debt,” Harper said. “This has serious repercussions on peoples’ abilities to build their own futures, and hinders the chance of our state and local economies from growing because students are forced to spend their money paying back their loans instead of buying a home and shopping at locally owned businesses. This legislation is a first step in prioritizing people over loan servicers.”
Harper supported Senate Bill 1351, which establishes a Student Loan Bill of Rights and a Student Loan Ombudsman within the Office of the Attorney General to assist students with any questions about the loan servicing process. Harper’s measure allows the Attorney General to enforce provisions that prohibit student loan servicers from engaging in unfair business practices. With more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt, Harper feels that students should not be at the mercy of loan servicers and will continue to fight for students across Illinois.
“I know we can do better for those fighting to make a better life for themselves, and we should be empowering the Attorney General’s office to help hold loan servicers accountable,” Harper said.