student loans

A bill headed to the governor’s desk would help protect students who take out loans.

The “Student Loan Bill of Rights” requires lenders to explain repayment options to struggling borrowers as well as inform graduates how their loan could be forgiven under certain circumstances. It’s sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Skokie, who says the bill also sets up a student-loan ombudsman in addition to a state licensing regime for student-loan servicers.

"If we see a servicer not doing what they ought to be doing, we can pull that license and send them out of business," he said.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is pushing legislation aimed at protecting Illinois students who take out college loans.

The plan would establish a “student loan bill of rights” outlining information that companies have to provide to borrowers, including all repayment options. It also would require student-loan servicers to get a state license and create a student-loan ombudsman in the attorney general's office.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says student borrowers dealing with mounting loan debt are making up a greater number of consumer complaints to her office.

Madigan released her annual top-ten list of such complaints on Monday. She says consumer debt and identity theft were the top two issues drawing complaints for the ninth straight year.

The attorney general's office reports receiving nearly 24,000 complaints during 2016. Nearly 1,700 education-related complaints were the sixth-most common last year, up one spot from 2015.

"170 - Typing" by Flickr User Hillary / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office is suing the nation's largest student loan company, alleging unfair and deceptive practices with lending and debt collection.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County seeks restitution and penalties. It names Navient Corporation and subsidiaries, including Sallie Mae Bank.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a separate lawsuit Wednesday, alleging Navient made it harder to repay loans by giving bad information, processing payments incorrectly and failing to address complaints.

WalletHub.com

Student loan debt in the United States stands at about $1.3 trillion, and it’s growing by more than $2,700 per second, according to a report by MarketWatch.

It’s been a political football in Congress and on the campaign trail as officeholders and candidates debate what should or should not be allowed in financing and refinancing student loans.

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