Missourians Could See Protection from Predatory Student Loans

By |2018-08-09T09:01:54-05:00August 9, 2018 6:31 am|Local News, State Headlines|0 Comments

FARMINGTON, MO (KDKZ-TV)In Missouri, 70 percent of college graduates leave school with debt, and navigating the payback process for their loans isn’t easy.

That could change with a bill introduced in Congress this month that has gotten support from numerous higher education and consumer groups.

The Aim High Act (HR 1772) is intended to make institutions more accountable and transparent to the public.

Ashley Harrington, a special assistant to the president of the Center for Responsible Lending explains the bills potential.

“It’s a comprehensive package that seeks to make college more affordable, more accessible, and hold institutions more accountable for the results that they achieve,” explains Harrington. “And so we think that it’s a big, strong step in the right direction.”

The Aim High Act also would prohibit lenders from forcing students to sign agreements at the beginning of their loan that ban them from seeking arbitration or a class action lawsuit if they are harmed in the process of the loan.

The average student loan debt per person in Missouri is $26,000, according to LendEDU, an online marketplace for financial products. Nationwide, 44 million consumers owe $1.5 trillion collectively.

If passed, the legislation also simplifies the loan repayment system to include one standard plan and one income-based plan that is accessible to all borrowers.

Harrington says the current system is confusing for borrowers.

“It’s really hard to navigate which ones you qualify for,” she states. “You have to re-certify every year for an income-based repayment plan, and if you forget to re-certify you will automatically be transitioned from that income-based repayment play to a standard plan.”

There also is increased support for minority institutions and others whose enrollment includes a large portion of low-income students.

The Aim High Act currently is in a House committee for consideration.

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About the Author:

I joined News Channel 18 in May 2011 in the weather department as Chief Meteorologist. In January 2013, I assumed the roll of News Director. I started my career in 2003 in high school. I attended Farmington High School. While there, I was a student in Black Knight Television (BKTV), doing anything from camera work, to editing, producing and anchoring the weather. I attended Mineral Area College, University of Missouri – Columbia, Mississippi State University and Webster University. While attending college, I continued to help out with BKTV. In 2009, I interned at KOMU-TV, Columbia, Missouri’s NBC affiliate. I enjoy spending time with my wife, Danica and our daughters , Declynn and Danleigh. I can’t forget about our dog, Daisy. We rescued her in 2011. We also have a cat named Dolly. I am committed to giving you the most accurate information, whether it’s from my latest weather forecast, or a news story that could touch your heart. Contact me if you have any questions or a news idea.

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