ALBANY, NY (WTEN) — With heavy impacts on students and co-signers, state lawmakers are looking to ease the burden and educate families with a package of eight new bills.
“By giving them access to some basic streamline information you know, here are resource numbers, here’s where you should go to ask for help, here are the folks you should be talking to here are the websites to be looking at and this way they have a place to start their process,” he said.
He says his bill is simple. He wants to provide college graduates with the resources they need to pay off their loans.
“People don’t have the right information. They get put into a program that is actually not in the best interest for them, it disqualifies them from other types of student loan programs and it’s a complete mess,” said Senator Andrew Gounardes.
Senator Kevin Thomas says these eight bills are a continuation of what lawmakers started in 2019 with the student-borrower bill of rights. He wants to extend those same rights to co-signers, who are often forgotten. He says he’ll do this, by holding lenders accountable.
“Especially when they go after parents and grandparents. They have to disclose information as to who they are, how much money is owed, how many payments were made, how to get out of being a co-borrower,” said Thomas.
And some lawmakers hope to see these issues dealt with on the federal level. In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Andrea-Stewart Cousins said: “While we wait for student debt relief from Washington, these bills make substantial steps to provide financial aid assistance and set our students up for success now and in the future.”