Statement: Landmark Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights passes key hurdle

Passage in California State Senate committee leaves bill poised to become law

For Immediate Release

Kaitlyn Vitez, Higher Ed Campaigns Director, 908-894-0642, [email protected]
Nic Riani, CALPIRG Students Chair, 510-501-6556, [email protected]
Emily Rusch, CALPIRG Executive Director, 407-619-7814, [email protected]
Josh Chetwynd, Communications Manager, 303-573-5558, [email protected]

SACRAMENTO — The California Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to support  the Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights (AB 376). The landmark bill would empower the Attorney General’s office to license student loan servicers, which will enable greater oversight of potentially predatory lenders. It would also set a new national high water mark for protecting students by ensuring that fundamental consumer protections are granted to borrowers.

More than a year after its passage in the State Assembly, the bill is expected to be voted on next week ahead of the end of the 2020 legislative session.

CALPIRG Students State Board Chair Nicolas Riani issued the following statement in support of the Bill of Rights’ passage in committee:

“College students and student loan borrowers are in a moment of crisis. Borrowers have been struggling for years with $1.7 trillion dollars in debt, and the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 is sure to make the situation worse. As a college senior, I’m very worried about what the future will bring for recent and soon-to-be graduates — and how we can keep college costs from going up for future students who will enroll in the next few years. When students have put so much on the line to get a degree, we need to make sure that their loans don’t lead to financial ruin after graduation. In the absence of strong federal oversight, we need the states to step up to protect students.

“The Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights will go a long way to making sure that students don’t see their costs rise even higher because of predatory behavior or messy mistakes by loan servicers. We want to thank Rep. Mark Stone for his work in proposing and championing our Bill of Rights, and Sen. Anthony Portantino and the rest of the members who voted to support the bill today. We urge Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and the rest of the California State Senate to vote yes on AB 376 when it comes to the senate floor next week.”