Student Borrower’s Bill of Rights Closer to Becoming Law

Mike Seals - April 1, 2021 12:06 am

OKLAHOMA CITY — A long fight on behalf of Oklahomans seeking higher education continues as legislation to create protections for student borrowers unanimously passed the House Higher Education and Career Tech Committee last week.

The Student Borrower’s Bill of Rights, Senate Bill 261, seeks to establish and make known to the Oklahoma student loan borrower basic, common-sense state-level protections when working with student loan servicers. It is not loan forgiveness. Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa, is the House author on the legislation.

“The Student Borrower’s Bill of Rights would create a fair, clear, and common-sense approach to lending that protects potential, current, and former students that must borrow money to pay for their education,” Provenzano said.

Roughly 50 percent of Oklahoma students carry student loan debt out of college at an average of $25,000. Provenzano believes now is the time to make this effort on behalf of Oklahoma students.

“States have begun to flex their muscles around the idea that they should have the authority to advocate for students challenged by issues from student loan servicers,” Provenzano said. “This is our chance to protect Oklahoma students. We can and should set a precedent that we are a state that encourages education and that we stand behind our students.”

Sen. John Michael Montgomery, R-Lawton, is the Senate author of the legislation.

SB261 is now eligible to be heard on the House Floor. This will be the bill’s final hurdle before it heads to the Governor’s desk.

 

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