Report Calls on States to Enact Student Loan Borrower Protections

A non-profit organization focused on student loans and higher education is calling on Massachusetts and all states to enact legislation aimed at protecting student loan borrowers “from profit-seeking predatory actors.”

The Hildreth Institute released a report this month calling on Massachusetts to follow 10 other states that have enacted their own Student Loan Bills of Rights or appointed student loan ombudsmen to work with individuals who have student loans on “exploring repayment options, applying to income-driven plans, avoiding or getting out of default, ending wage garnishments, and tax refund interceptions or benefits offsets.”

States must step up to protect stunned loan borrowers because the federal government is failing to do so, the report concludes. Student loan servicer do not have the individual’s best interests in mind and instead are driven by profits and not making sure that individuals are given the best repayment options.

“In the face of federal refusal to regulate the loan servicing industry, ​states have no choice but to enact their own Student Loan Bills of Rights to protect their student loan borrowers from profit-seeking predatory actors,” the report concludes.

The report also includes a state-by-state breakdown of their activity in enacting legislation that regulate the student loan industry. Ten states — Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Washington, and Washington, D.C. — have enacted some form of legislation, either by creating a student loan bill of rights, a student loan ombudsman, or some other form of protection, and another 13 are considering similar legislation, according to the report.

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