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Illinois Gov. Pritzker announces expansion of student loan relief during pandemic

The state said the new options could end up benefiting more than 138,000 Illinoisans with privately held student loans
Credit: AP
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces that three more people have died in the state from from Covid-19 virus, two Illinois residents and one woman visiting from Florida, during a news conference Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

ILLINOIS, USA — On Tuesday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced the state has secured relief options with 20 private student loan services. In a news release, the governor said this will expand protections the federal government has granted to borrowers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The state said the new options could end up benefiting more than 138,000 Illinoisans with privately held student loans.

"I'm happy to announce that, as of today, more student loan borrowers in Illinois will now get relief," Gov. Pritzker said in the release. "IDFPR has worked tirelessly to secure loan relief options with 20 student loan servicers. Impacted borrowers can immediately contact their loan provider to get relief with these new options."

The federal CARES act provided initial relief when it came to federal student loans, including the suspension of monthly payments, interest and involuntary collection activity until Sept. 30. However, this only covered loans owned by the U.S. government and not loans from private lenders.

Under the new Illinois initiative, residents with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program Loans or privately held student loans will be eligible for expanded relief.

Relief options 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.

To learn more about Illinois' expanded student loan relief, you can visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation's website here.

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