Government
3:55 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Durbin pushes for college-loan bill of rights

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is renewing his call for a college-loan bill of rights.   Students loans are now the second-biggest source of debt in America.

 Remember a few years ago when everyone was worried about how much credit card debt Americans had? Move over, Visa, student loans have surpassed credit cards, and are second only to home mortgages.Durbin says student loans are unlike any other kind of debt.

  "There are an awful lot of people across America, burdened with student debt, who will never get out from under it, the rest of their lives. And they can never discharge it in bankruptcy."

 Durbin wants loan companies to be way more upfront about fees, and to work with borrowers who have trouble keeping up with payments. He also wants colleges to have to face the consequences of default along with their former students -- basically forcing them to pay part of the debt. The idea is schools would be more likely to steer people into grants, scholarships, and lower-cost loans.

Durbin has been proposing ideas like this for some time now. So far, only a handful of fellow Democrats have signed on to his plan.