Bowling Green Lawmaker Will Again Try to Pass Student Loan Borrowers 'Bill of Rights'

Aug 30, 2021

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A state lawmaker from Bowling Green is taking a second shot at convincing the General Assembly to pass a comprehensive student loan reform bill.

The measure pre-filed for the 2022 legislative session by Democratic Rep. Patti Minter would ban deceptive practices by student loan providers, and increase oversight of the student loan industry.

The same bill failed to pass during this year’s session.

Minter said her time as a history professor at Western Kentucky University has given her insight into how predatory lenders target desperate students. She told WKU Public Radio a former student she knows who’s been out of school for ten years is a cautionary tale.

“They've only paid $700 in 10 years toward the principle of the loan. The rest is interest,” Rep. Minter said. “Because what this person had done, without knowing it, was to sign up for a predatory, adjustable interest rate student loan that literally they’re paying nothing but interest for years.”

The bill would also create a state government watchdog position that would track student loan complaints, collect data, and provide trustworthy student loan information to the public.

Minter points out that more than a dozen other states have passed similar bills protecting student loan borrowers and their families.

“Right now, it’s perfectly legal to engage in fraudulent, deceptive, or abusive student loan lending practices in this state,” the Bowling Green Democrat said.

The 2022 Kentucky General Assembly will convene in early January.