Student Loan Debt: Taking Responsibility
Student loan debts are on the rise all over the country. Some individuals are taking out outrageous loans that may take them the rest of their lives to pay off; and because many of them refuse to pay their loans, they become delinquent. In light of this, Illinois has been forced to find ways to make debtors pay back their student loans. One way the state has been able to do this is through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. They are currently able to garnish wages of employees with federal loan debt and are now seeking to implement the exact same powers and provisions for state loan acquisition.
On May 26th, 2012, legislators sent a piece of legislation off to the Governor that is going to allow Illinois to deduct wages from those who have state loan debt. Senate Bill 3800 requires that the Illinois Student Assistance commission deduct salary, wages, commissions, and bonuses of any employee in and outside of Illinois for the recovery of a student loan debt from ISAC. In collecting state-owned debts, ISAC would abide by federal regulations that limit aggregate garnished amounts to 15% of a borrower’s disposable income, which is the maximum that can be garnished. In addition, guarantee the borrower the authority to inspect and copy records of the debt, provide the borrower with an opportunity to enter into a written agreement to establish a payment schedule, and provide the borrower with the opportunity to receive a hearing concerning the debt prior to garnishment. These rules are to ensure that the borrower will not be taken advantage of.
The implementation of this legislation will enable Illinois to finally begin receiving its money from those who refuse to re-pay their student loans. I believe that this legislation is vital to Illinois because there are more than $30 million in outstanding loans owed to the state that are past due. ISAC is responsible to try and collect these outstanding debts that have gone at least 90 days without a payment. Senate Bill 3800 is forcing Illinois students to take responsibility for the educational decisions. Since the state of Illinois is already able to garnish wages from those with federal loan debt it is only reasonable to allow them the same rights with state loans. Up until today, we were not putting individuals in collections on state loans. If the governor were to sign this legislation into effect then the State would finally be able to enforce personal accountability for these delinquent loans and ensure that they will be paid.
This is a good start to decrease the number of delinquent borrowers and actually collect the funds that are owed to the State of Illinois.