Madigan wants veto overridden on "Student Loan Bill of Rights"
Attorney General Lisa Madigan addressed student loan concerns during a roundtable at SIU. An investigation by her office found student loan companies didn't help borrowers find the best option to pay back student loans. They found in many cases, borrowers went into even more debt.
44 million Americans are working to pay back student loan debt, an often overwhelming task. That's why Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to help by making sure borrowers know the best option for them.
"There are income driven repayment programs that are available, but when they are not being told about them by their servicer, the person they make their monthly payment to, there's a real problem," Madigan said.
The Student Loan Bill of Rights addresses "widespread abuses and failures in the student loan industry." Her office launched an investigation and lawsuit against Navient, one of the country's largest student loan servicing companies after hundreds of complaints came to her office.
"Instead of putting people into income driven repayment programs, they simply were putting people into forbearances which increase the overall amount of debt that people had to pay down," Madigan said.
SIU Senior Jhamilah Levy said it's a terrifying thought. Her biggest fear after graduation isn't entering the workforce but instead paying back thousands in loans.
"I feel like I'll be paying back my loans all my life," Levy said. "I hope not but I've seen people, my parents, they are still paying off their loans."
Madigan said this bill affects everyone, even those not paying back student loan debt. Those borrowers struggling means a strain on our economy, she said.
"We want them to be able to start businesses, start families, purchase homes, purchase cars, because of the fact that they really did invest in their education," Madigan said.
The bill also requires the companies to tell borrowers that loans could be forgiven due to a disability or problems with the school they attended, such as false program certification or sudden closure.
The Illinois General Assembly will return to Springfield at the end of the month.