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May 16, 2018


Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today applauded the Illinois House’s Business & Occupational Licenses Committee for passing legislation that would prevent a student loan borrower’s professional license from being suspended if they are behind on their payments.

Madigan initiated Senate Bill 2439, the Career Preservation and Student Loan Repayment Act, to prevent the state from suspending or terminating professional licenses of student loan borrowers who are behind on their monthly payments. SB 2439, which is sponsored by Rep. Carol Ammons, passed the committee unanimously and will now be considered by the full House.

“Revoking student loan borrowers’ professional licenses prevents them from working to repay their loans,” Madigan said. “With student loan debt at an all-time high, we must give borrowers the opportunity to repay their loans and build long-term success.”

“Demanding that student loan borrowers repay their loans while also suspending their ability to earn a living in their chosen career borders on being nonsensical,” Ammons said. “I appreciate the Attorney General bringing this extremely practical measure forward, and I look forward to my House colleagues’ support.”

Currently in Illinois, dozens of occupations are impacted by state laws that allow the state to revoke or suspend a person’s professional license for being behind on student loan payments, including teachers, engineers, veterinarians, dieticians, marriage and family therapists and occupational therapists.

Attorney General Madigan is a national leader in investigating and enforcing consumer protection violations in the higher education field. Last year, Madigan initiated legislation to enact the Illinois Student Loan Bill of Rights to protect students from widespread abuses and failures by student loan servicing companies that prevent borrowers from being able to repay. Madigan also filed a lawsuit against one of the largest student loan servicers, Navient, for similar abuses in the student loan servicing industry.

Madigan has investigated for-profit schools for fraud and repeatedly called on the U.S. Department of Education to immediately forgive federal loans of students who attended for-profit schools the U.S. Department of Education has deemed fraudulent. Madigan has also testified before Congress and urged the U.S. Department of Education to crack down on the many abuses and scams facing student borrowers.

Madigan also instituted a free Student Loan Helpline to provide student borrowers with resources about repayment options, avoiding default or how to file a complaint about loan servicing at (800) 455-2456 (TTY: 1-800-964-3013). More information can be found on her website.


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