Mass Legislature passes bill to prevent student loan license revocation

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In full transparency, here is a press release from the office of Senate Speaker Karen Spilka submitted to SOURCE media.

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BOSTON — On Monday, Nov. 21, the Massachusetts Legislature passed legislation to prevent people who default on their student loans from having their license or professional certification revoked as a result.

As of fall 2022, approximately one million Massachusetts residents held a combined total of nearly $31 billion in federal student loan debt, with an average debt of $34,146 per borrower.

Student loan debt disproportionately affects young, low-income people who are making the kinds of investments in their future that we should encourage,” said Senate Speaker Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “Revoking the professional licenses they obtained with a student loan does nothing to solve the problem of defaults, and it actively compounds the problem by preventing new professionals from having the means to repay their loans. I want to thank Senator Eldridge for his attention and determination to see this sensible bill cross the finish line.

“I am proud to announce that the Senate has passed the Prohibiting Revocation of Licenses Bill, known as the Prohibiting Revocation of Licenses for Failure to Pay a Student Loan Act. Nearly one million Massachusetts residents are struggling with student loans. As the federal moratorium comes to an end, we must recognize the continued impact of Covid-19 on the jobs and financial condition of borrowers,” said Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), Senate Committee Chairman mixed on the judiciary. “The bill will ensure that borrowers, who are heavily burdened with student loans, can continue their careers and work towards repaying their student loans. Thank you to Rep. Higgins for her leadership in tabling and fighting for this legislation. Kudos to the hard working defenders and staff.

Under current Massachusetts law, residents can have their professional license or certification revoked, denied, or refused for renewal due to failure to pay their student loan debt. Massachusetts is one of 14 states to have such a law.

The bill repeals the law and prevents any state agency or registration board from denying or revoking any professional or professional license or certificate or registration due to an individual’s default on a student loan.

The bill does not change the state’s ability to use traditional loan collection tools.

Having already passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the bill is submitted to the governor for consideration.

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