01/15/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/15/2020 16:38
Communications & Public Affairs
Jan. 15, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Melissa Provenzano
Phone: (405) 557-7330
OKLAHOMA CITY - State Rep. Melissa Provenzano (D-Tulsa) has filed legislation aimed at protecting students borrowing money to pay for their education.
House Bill 2922, authored by Provenzano, would establish the 'Student Borrowers Bill of Rights,' which would be a series of statutory provisions aimed at protecting students from predatory student loan lenders.
'When we talk about student loan debt, we shouldn't look at it through the lens of the lender and debtor,' Provenzano said. 'We should look instead look through the lens of 'how is this affecting society?' Right now, student loan debt is hampering our communities by limiting the number of people that have the economic flexibility to achieve. '
Provenzano hosted a study on student loan debt over the summer. The study showed that the average debt load carried by students is $31,678, totaling over $14.5 billion in outstanding debt with 2.26 billion of that in delinquency. Throughout the United States, student loan delinquency has risen to more than $1.5 trillion.
'There is a reason that presidential candidates continue to talk about the burden of student loan debt,' Provenzano said. 'This issue is not going away and it is currently choking the economic viability of many communities across the country and in Oklahoma.'
There are many factors that have led to this historic amount of delinquent student loan debt. Provenzano's legislation deals with one of the biggest, which are predatory lending tactics.
'The Borrower's Bill of Rights would create a fair, common-sense approach to lending that protects potential, current and former students that have had to borrow money to pay for their education,' Provenzano said.
According to the Student Borrower's Bill of Rights, no student loan lender shall: