On Thursday, the state Assembly Higher Education Committee advanced Senate Bill 1149/Assembly Bill 455 which seeks student loan protections in New Jersey.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Sandra Cunningham, D-31st District, and Assemblyman Gary Schaer, D-36th District, calls on the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance to establish lending standards and a licensing requirement for any student-loan servicer operating in New Jersey. The bill also gives DOBI the power to enforce standards, fine violators and to designate a student-loan ombudsman. It would also protect students from abusive practices by loan servicers who manage and collect student debt.
Nonprofit organization New Jersey Citizen Action applauded the vote.
“Moving this common-sense bill out of the committee and to the full Assembly for a vote will go a long way to ensure a fair lending and repayment environment for student borrowers,” Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, NJCA executive director, said. “With more than a million New Jersey borrowers owing more than $43 billion in student debt, this legislation is more critical than ever.