CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign what’s called a student loan bill of rights, and asking citizens to join the call.
Madigan says student loan debt is now the largest unsecured consumer debt in the nation. More than 40 million borrowers owe more than $3.4 trillion.
Efforts to enact federal safeguards have fallen short, therefore she’s hoping a state law can rein in predatory lenders.
“They cannot be deceptive; you have to actually be receiving accurate information about payment. Those are kind of basic things you would think they would already be doing,” Madigan said.
“They are in fact required by the law to do those things, but we have found time and time again that unfortunately the student loan servicers are not doing the work that they are paid with our federal tax dollars to do.”
The bill Madigan wants the governor to sign would ensure student loan companies give borrowers complete and accurate information about their repayment options. She says some borrowers are sinking deeper into student debt, and don’t get the help they need despite existing laws.
“The federal government in response to struggling student lenders pass legislation creating these repayment programs, which are really considered to be — not surprisingly — the best option,” Madigan said. “So if you’re not making any money, you could qualify to pay zero dollars a month.”
The attorney general’s office has already sued Navient, the largest loan servicer in the country, accusing it of widespread abuses and not providing proper information.