student loan 042320DES PLAINES – In an effort to provide support to Illinoisans facing unprecedented economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) highlighted relief options that could help nearly 140,000 Illinoisans pay their student loans.

“Widespread unemployment means that many Illinoisans are struggling to keep up with bills, including student loan payments,” Murphy said. “If you’re facing financial hardship during this time, don’t wait—contact your loan provider now to discuss your options.”

Under this new initiative, spearheaded by Gov. JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, people with commercially owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans who are having a hard time making their payments due to COVID-19 will be eligible for expanded relief.

Borrowers who need assistance are asked to contact their student loan provider immediately to set up a plan.

Relief options are based on a person’s individual needs and include:

  • Providing a minimum of 90 days of forbearance;
  • Waiving late payment fees;
  • Ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting;
  • Ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days; and
  • Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

Those having problems contacting their student loan servicer can contact the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Banking at 217-785-2900 or the attorney general’s student loan helpline at 1-800-455-2456.