Attorney General Raoul Requests Emergency Relief for Federal Student Loan Borrowers

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a coalition of 27 attorneys general in calling on the U.S. Department of Education to provide federal student loan borrowers with crucial emergency measures to help in the wake of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the coalition asks the department to take steps to protect borrowers from further financial burden and debt collection due to job losses and lost wages, resulting from the exponential rise in national unemployment in the last few weeks. The letter notes that while the federal government has already taken a series of initial steps to help student loan borrowers — including ceasing some collection actions — the department must do more, including:

• Halting all new and continuing involuntary collection activities — including wage garnishment and the offset of government benefits, such as Social Security and tax refunds — and refunding 2019 tax refund offsets for all federal student loan borrowers for the duration of the crisis.

• Extending eligibility for all additional relief available pursuant to previously announced modifications for those affected by national emergencies to all federal loan borrowers for the duration of the crisis.

Student borrowers who have questions or are in need of assistance can call the Attorney General’s Student Loan Helpline at 1-800-455-2456.

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