collegestudents-030520.jpgCHICAGO — Nearly 140,000 Illinoisans could benefit from a new effort to help people struggling to pay their student loans. In light of the countless Americans falling behind due to the unprecedented economic hardships faced on both a statewide and national level, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) emphasized the importance of seeking relief.


“Paying student loans is the last thing people should have to worry about during this pandemic,” Van Pelt said. “I urge everyone impacted to contact their loan providers as soon as possible. Borrowers need to be aware of all student loan deferment options available to them.”

Introduced by Gov. JB Pritzker and Secretary Deborah Hagan of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, this initiative will allow 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 to be eligible for expanded relief.

Borrowers in need of assistance are encouraged 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,
• Working with borrower to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.

Anyone having problems contacting their student loan servicer should call 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.

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District Office
1016 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607 
(312) 888-9191
(312) 277-3716 FAX

Springfield Office
121A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-6252