student loan3 042320PEORIA— In an effort to help people struggling to pay their student loans during the unprecedented economic challenges facing the state and country, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) highlighted relief options that could benefit nearly 140,000 Illinoisans.

“It’s no secret that people across the state are facing a great deal of uncertainty regarding their futures,” Koehler said. “Adding student loan payments to the already heavy burden that has been placed on their shoulders doesn’t sit well with me, and I’m glad that the State of Illinois has prioritized offering relief to those who are anxious about these looming payments. I urge those who have been impacted to reach out to their loan providers to discuss alternate repayment options.”

Under the 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 immediately contact their student loan provider 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,
  •         Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

If a person is having problems contacting their student loan servicer, they 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.