Virginia Borrowers’ Bill of Rights leads the nation in student borrower protections
Progress Virginia today celebrated a major win for the over one million student loan borrowers in the commonwealth—the Virginia State Corporation Commission has adopted regulations governing the operation of student loan servicers. The regulations are pursuant to a newly passed “bill of rights” that passed the General Assembly in 2020, led by Delegate Marcus Simon, Delegate Marcia “Cia” Price, and Senator Janet Howell.
“Over the years I’ve heard so many horror stories from borrowers about their student loans,” said Delegate Marcus Simon (D-53), chief patron of the House bill. “I’m thrilled the SCC is moving forward with implementing the bill of rights so that Virginia student borrowers can get accurate information about their loans and repayment options from their loan servicer and have legal protection under the law.”
“For too long, Virginia student loan borrowers have been subject to the whims of those looking to make a buck off of them.” said Delegate Marcia “Cia” Price (D-95), chief co-patron of the House bill. “Finally, implementing the Borrowers Bill of Rights means Virginia student borrowers have the protections they deserve and legal recourse if loan servicers violate their rights. Borrowers now have a legal right to know their loan balance, have their payments accurately applied, and to know their loan repayment options. This was a huge win for student loan reform.
“Today’s win means over a million student borrowers in Virginia can take a deep breath, knowing that they’ve won basic consumer protections on their student loans,” said Progress Virginia senior advisor and former executive director Anna Scholl. “For years, Virginia borrowers have struggled to obtain accurate information about their loans and clear directions on how to repay them. The student borrowers’ bill of rights will make sure that no one has to negotiate a shell game to repay their student loans or navigate a nightmare of debt. It’s taken years of incredible advocacy by student loan borrowers across the commonwealth, in partnership with dedicated leaders like Delegate Marcus Simon, Delegate Marcia Price, Senator Janet Howell, and Attorney General Mark Herring. There’s more work to do to tackle crushing student loan debt, but today’s action by the SCC means Virginia borrowers have one more tool to stand up to predatory corporations.”
Previously, the General Assembly passed legislation establishing a state student loan ombudsman. Virginia borrowers should reach out to Ombudsman Scott Kemp at email@example.com with questions on navigating student loans in Virginia. Combined with the new enforcement tools provided to the SCC and the Office of the Attorney General in the new student loan bill of rights, Virginia is now leading the nation in protections for student loan borrowers.
HB10 and SB77, the Virginia Student Borrowers Bill of Rights, passed the General Assembly in 2020 and was signed by Governor Ralph Northam.