Thank you to everyone who contacted your legislator and the governor to ask for support! And thank you to Senator John Montgomery and Representative Melissa Provenzano who shepherded this bill through the process! Now, the over 463,500 Oklahomans who have student loans totaling $14.6 billion, and those seeking higher education opportunities in the future, will receive the same loan protections as other borrowers. You can review Senate Bill 261 and the Student Loan Borrowers Bill of Rights here.
This bill will improve lender practices for student loan borrowers, so students don't end up with challenges such as Lynn's: "I beat cancer, but I can't beat my student loan problems!"
Our work on this issue first featured a 4-part public civic academy on Student Loan Debt in Feb and March of 2019. The team covered the scope of the problem, the impact, the future implications, and began to develop an action plan to help students and parents in our community deal with this challenge and to discover ways to help future students. Approximately a dozen people shared their stories and connected with each other in solidarity to take steps to address this issue.
Prior to the civic academy, the team researched the issue, talked with college counselors & financial aid officers, held meetings with local bankers, and conferenced with those in other states working on the issue. Citizen action starts with knowledge of both the problem and possible solutions!