By Bob Katzen
The House and Senate gave final approval to and sent to Gov. Baker legislation that would repeal current state laws which create professional licensure consequences for anyone who defaults on their student loan. Under existing law, a borrower’s state-issued professional or occupational certificate, registration or license can be suspended, revoked or cancelled if the borrower is in default on an education loan.
“This draconian approach prevents an individual from access to the profession for which he or she has trained and has the perverse result of furthering hindering their ability to earn a living and making it more difficult to make loan payments, said co-sponsor Rep. Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D-Melrose). “And as families work to recover from the financial fallout of the pandemic, the last thing the state should do is deny them access to their professional pursuits because of student loan defaults.”
“Student loan debt disproportionately affects young, low-income individuals who are making the kinds of investments in their future that we should be encouraging,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “Revoking professional licenses that they obtained with a student loan does nothing to solve the problem of loan defaults, and it actively makes the problem worse by preventing new professionals from having the means to pay off their loans.”
“Nearly one million Massachusetts residents are struggling because of student loans. As the federal moratorium approaches its end, we must recognize COVID-19’s continuous impact on employment and borrowers’ financial situations,” said Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), Senate Chair of the Judiciary Committee. “The bill will ensure that borrowers, who are heavily burdened by student loans, can still continue their career and work towards repayments of their educational loans