Governor Janet Mills today signed LD 995 "An Act To Establish a Student Loan Bill of Rights To License and Regulate Student Loan Servicers," sponsored by Senator Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic and passed unanimously by the Legislature, to protect student loan borrowers from predatory lending.
“Paying back student loan debt is difficult enough without a profit-hungry lender trying to make it harder and more expensive,” said Governor Mills. “By signing this bill into law, Maine is taking critical action to create oversight, implement accountability, and protect the interests of our borrowers.”
“Far too often, we hear horror stories of student loan servicers taking advantage of borrowers who are only trying to responsibly pay down their debt,” said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic. “I’m grateful for the support this bill has received. I’m sure it will make a real difference in the lives of many Mainers.”
The Student Loan Bill of Rights creates a registration procedure for student loan lenders who do business in Maine, requires lenders to comply with federal law, and identifies prohibited acts for lenders, including misleading student loan borrowers and fraud. The legislation also allows state officials to investigate student loan lenders who commit prohibited acts.
According to a recent study by the credit agency Experian, student loan debt in Maine rose 94 percent from $3.1 billion in 2008 to $6 billion in 2018. The law will take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the Legislature.