Gov. Janet Mills has signed legislation that will provide greater regulatory oversight of student loan lenders. The Student Loan Bill of Rights gives state regulators the ability to investigate student lenders and take them to court for misleading borrowers or committing fraud.
Senator Eloise Vitelli, a Democrat from Arrowsic sponsored the bill.
“There are roughly 20,000 Mainers over 60 who are still burdened by student debt, so this is a problem that covers people from all ages,” says Vitelli.
The bill also requires student loan lenders to register with the state.
According to a recent study, student loan debt in Maine nearly doubled from $3.1 billion in 2008 to $6 billion last year. The law will take effect in September.
“It’s a great piece of consumer protection for our students, and I just want to make this point,” Vitellis says. “Student debt is one of the only debts that cannot be discharged. You can’t file for bankruptcy to get out from under your student loans.”
Originally published 2:20 p.m. June 20, 2019