Student Loan Debt

  • Bush highlights additional student loan relief

    student loan2 042320GRAYSLAKE — In an effort to help people struggling to pay their student loans during the unprecedented economic challenges facing the state and country, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) highlighted relief options that could benefit nearly 140,000 Illinoisans. 

    “If you are struggling with student loan debt, please contact your loan providers immediately to discuss a repayment plan that incorporates expanded relief options during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Bush. “Illinoisans should not have to worry about how they will repay their student loans during a national crisis.”

    Under the initiative, spearheaded by Gov. JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, people with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are having a hard time making their payments due to COVID-19 will be eligible for expanded relief. 

    Borrowers who need assistance are asked to immediately contact their student loan provider to set up a plan. 

    Relief options are based on a person’s individual needs and include:

    • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance,
    • Waiving late payment fees,
    • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting,
    • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days,
    • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

    If a person is having problems contacting their student loan servicer, they can contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Banking at 217-785-2900 or the attorney general’s student loan helpline at 1-800-455-2456. If Illinois residents have difficulty contacting state agencies at those numbers, they are encouraged to reach out to their state senator’s office. 

    Senator Bush’s District Office is serving constituents remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, so please call (847) 548-5631 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance.

  • Van Pelt urges private student-loan borrowers to call their providers

    collegestudents 030520CHICAGO —Nearly 140,000 Illinoisans could benefit from a new effort to help people struggling to pay their student loans. In light of the countless Americans falling behind due to the unprecedented economic hardships faced on both a statewide and national level, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) emphasized the importance of seeking relief.

    “Paying student loans is the last thing people should have to worry about during this pandemic,” Van Pelt said. “I urge everyone impacted to contact their loan providers as soon as possible. Borrowers need to be aware of all student loan deferment options available to them.”

    Introduced by Gov. JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, this initiative will allow people with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are having a hard time making their payments due to COVID-19 to be eligible for expanded relief.

    Borrowers in need of assistance are encouraged to contact their student loan provider immediately to set up a plan.

    Relief options are based on a person’s individual needs and include:

    • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance,
    • Waiving late payment fees,
    • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting,
    • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days,
    • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

    Anyone having problems contacting their student loan servicer should call the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Banking at 217-785-2900 or the attorney general’s student loan helpline at 1-800-455-2456.

  • Bennett applauds expansion of payment relief for student loan borrowers

    student loan2 042320CHAMPAIGN —With the coronavirus outbreak hitting workers and the economy across the state and country, State Senator Scott Bennett highlighted relief options to help people struggling to pay their student loans that could benefit nearly 140,000 Illinoisans.

    “Folks struggling financially during this pandemic should not have to choose between paying their student loan payment and putting food on the table,” said Bennett, a member of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “Borrowers in need of assistance should contact their student loan provider immediately to identify the options that are appropriate to their circumstances.”

    Under the initiative, spearheaded by Governor JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, people with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are having a hard time making their payments due to COVID-19 will be eligible for expanded relief.

    Borrowers who need assistance are asked to immediately contact their student loan provider to set up a plan.

    Relief options are based on a person’s individual needs and include:

    • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance,
    • Waiving late payment fees,
    • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting,
    • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days,
    • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

    If a person is having problems contacting their student loan servicer, they can contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Banking at 217-785-2900 or the attorney general’s student loan helpline at 1-800-455-2456.

  • Murphy urges student loan borrowers to contact providers for relief options

    student loan 042320DES PLAINES – In an effort to provide support to Illinoisans facing unprecedented economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) highlighted relief options that could help nearly 140,000 Illinoisans pay their student loans.

    “Widespread unemployment means that many Illinoisans are struggling to keep up with bills, including student loan payments,” Murphy said. “If you’re facing financial hardship during this time, don’t wait—contact your loan provider now to discuss your options.”

    Under this new initiative, spearheaded by Gov. JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, people with commercially owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are having a hard time making their payments due to COVID-19 will be eligible for expanded relief.

    Borrowers who need assistance are asked to contact their student loan provider immediately to set up a plan.

    Relief options are based on a person’s individual needs and include:

    • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance;
    • Waiving late payment fees;
    • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting;
    • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days; and
    • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

    Those having problems contacting their student loan servicer can contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Banking at 217-785-2900 or the attorney general’s student loan helpline at 1-800-455-2456.

  • Jones urges borrowers to contact their student loan providers

    student loan 042220CHICAGO — In an effort to help people struggling to pay their student loans during the unprecedented economic challenges facing the state and country, State Senator Emil Jones, III highlighted relief options that could benefit nearly 140,000 Illinoisans. 

    “Paying student loan debt is not an essential matter when borrowers are experiencing pay cuts,” Jones (D-Chicago) said. “This is an obstacle borrowers do not need during this tough time. I recommend they contact their loan provider and see if their payments can be waved through the duration of this crisis.”

    Under the initiative, spearheaded by Gov. JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, people with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are having a hard time making their payments due to COVID-19 will be eligible for expanded relief.

    Borrowers who need assistance are asked to immediately contact their student loan provider to set up a plan. 

    Relief options are based on a person’s individual needs and include:

    • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance,
    • Waiving late payment fees,
    • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting,
    • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days, and
    • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

    If a person is having problems contacting their student loan servicer, they can contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Banking at 217-785-2900 or the attorney general’s student loan helpline at 1-800-455-2456.

  • Crowe urges people with student debt to explore payment-waiving options

    student loan 042220WOOD RIVER —In an effort to help people struggling to pay their student loans during the unprecedented economic challenges facing the state and country, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) is highlighting relief options that could benefit nearly 140,000 Illinois residents.

    “During this financially difficult time while millions of people are out of work, they should not be held under the weight of their student debt,” Crowe said. “I urge impacted borrowers to contact their loan providers immediately to discuss options to temporarily waive payments.”

    Under the initiative, organized by the governor and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, people with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are having a hard time making their payments due to COVID-19 will be eligible for expanded relief.

     

  • The Majority Report - Week ending May 4, 2018 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - May 4, 2018 - Senate pushes for government accountability, protects students


  • Biss advances student loan protections despite industry push-back

    lecture hallSPRINGFIELD – As the White House rolls back federal protections for student loan borrowers across the nation, the Illinois State Senate sent a clear message Wednesday that it won’t succumb to pressure from loan services and their lobbyists.

    Legislation sponsored by Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) that would establish a student loan bill of rights in Illinois and help to protect students from predatory college lenders passed in the Senate Wednesday.

    “The fact that the student loan industry sent high-powered lobbyists to Springfield to fight against these practical, commonsense protections for middle- and low-income families tells me that we’re on the right track with this legislation,” Biss said.

    “Students are drowning in debt the second they complete their education. It can take decades to dig out from that kind of financial burden, and quite often students quickly fall behind on their payments or end up in default. This is no way to start a life, a career or a family.”

  • Student debt relief could be on its way in Illinois

    college lecture hallSPRINGFIELD – A measure that would protect college students from mounting student loan debt passed the Illinois Senate on Wednesday.

    Senate Bill 1351 establishes the Student Loan Bill of Rights in Illinois to provide as much protection as possible for student borrowers, a population that frequently is targeted by bad actors in the student loan industry.

    State Senator Cristina Castro (D- Elgin), who is a co-sponsor of the legislation, noted how important it is to make sure both transparency and fairness is brought to the student loan lending system.

    “Going to college shouldn’t be the financial burden it has become,” said Castro. “Too often, young people are graduating from universities with crippling debt and have no idea what resources are available to them, or understand their rights as a borrower. This legislation would bring clarity to the process and prevent more young people from defaulting on their loans.”

    The Student Loan Bill of Rights would help to ensure students and their families receive clear information about the money they borrow for higher education and how their student loans are serviced.

    The legislation received significant bipartisan support and now goes to the House for consideration.

  • Biss advances Student Loan Bill of Rights

    biss 031517SPRINGFIELD – Senator Daniel Biss’ groundbreaking measure to protect Illinois college students from crushing education debt advanced out of a Senate committee on Wednesday.

    Senate Bill 1351 establishes the Student Loan Bill of Rights in Illinois to provide as much protection as possible for student borrowers, a population that frequently is targeted by bad actors in the student loan industry.

    “At a time when a quarter of student loan borrowers are behind in their payments, we need to make sure borrowers understand their rights and have access to resources that will prevent them from defaulting on their loans,” Biss said. “I am pleased to work with Attorney General Lisa Madigan on behalf of student borrowers, and I encourage each of my colleagues to support this measure.”

    The Student Loan Bill of Rights would help to ensure students and their families receive clear information about the money they borrow for higher education and how their student loans are serviced. Among the protections offered in the legislation:

    • Requires student loan services to provide specialized employees to assist borrowers with questions about loan payments, explain repayment options and evaluate a borrower’s financial situation to determine which payment plan is appropriate.
    • Requires loan servicers to give borrowers accurate information on billing statements and properly process borrowers’ payments, and bars servicers from charging unreasonable fees.
    • Requires loan servicers to tell borrowers when and how their federal loans may be discharged due to a borrower’s disability or a problem with the school the borrower attended.
    • Requires loan servicers to provide information so cosigners know the conditions of being released from their obligations.
    • Requires servicers to follow procedures when a loan is transferred to a new servicer to ensure continuity and ensure borrowers’ payments are properly handled.
    • Ensures borrowers have the right to request information and file account disputes with their servicer and appeal any servicer determination.
    • Creates a student loan ombudsman in the office of the attorney general to assist borrowers with student loans.
    • Establishes a student loan servicing license with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to qualify, oversee and discipline services for violating the Student Loan Bill of Rights.