Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0091
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Full Text of HR0091  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, According to the Federal Reserve, 54% of
3Americans who went to college assumed some form of debt in
4order to do so; and
5    WHEREAS, Over 45 million people in the United States
6collectively owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt,
7making it the second highest form of consumer debt, behind
8only home mortgages, and higher than credit card debt and auto
9loan debt; and
10    WHEREAS, Student loans have a higher delinquency rate than
11credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages; the delinquency rate
12(90 days or more overdue) for student loans is 10.85%;
13comparatively, the delinquency rate for auto loans is 4.69%,
14and the delinquency rate for credit cards is 8.32%; and
15    WHEREAS, Over 1.5 million student loan borrowers in the
16State of Illinois have a collective balance of $49 billion in
17student loans, with a student loan delinquency rate (90+ days
18delinquent) of 11.4%; and
19    WHEREAS, Student loan debt has caused great division
20between Americans; the average debt for African American
21bachelor's degree recipients was $34,000, compared to $30,000



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1for white bachelor's recipients and just under $25,000 for
2Hispanic and Asian bachelor's recipients; and
3    WHEREAS, African American students who complete a
4bachelor's degree are more likely to struggle to repay their
5loans, and 12 years later, the typical African American
6student who entered college in 2003 and who completed a
7bachelor's degree owed 114% of what they originally borrowed,
8compared to 47% for white graduates; additionally, 49% of
9African American students who borrowed for their undergraduate
10education defaulted on a federal student loan, representing
11the highest default of all borrowers; and
12    WHEREAS, Student loan debt has created a clear divide
13among all gendered people; for example, women hold nearly
14two-thirds of the outstanding student debt in the United
15States, almost $929 billion as of early 2019 according to
16studies; the burden of student debt is compounded by existing
17and intersecting inequalities, women working full time with
18college degrees make 26% less than their male counterparts;
20    WHEREAS, One year after graduating, female college
21graduates working full time are paid 18% less than their male
22peers; by four years after graduation, that gap widens to 20%;



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1    WHEREAS, A 2019 Federal Reserve study found that student
2loan debt is linked to over 20% of the decline in
3homeownership, which is recognized as one of the most
4important ways to build wealth; homeownership has returned to
550-year lows, and the African American homeownership rate in
62019 was as low as it was when the Fair Housing Act was passed
7in 1968; and
8    WHEREAS, Research from the National Association of
9Realtors revealed that 61% of millennials said they have
10delayed buying a house because of student loan debt, with the
11average student loan borrower delaying the purchase of their
12first home by an average of seven years; and
13    WHEREAS, Student loan servicers are a critical link in
14determining whether borrowers will have a pathway towards
15paying off their debt or be continually rolled into one
16unaffordable payment after another; and
17    WHEREAS, Without strong federal and state guidelines,
18servicers have engaged in a range of abusive practices that
19include misapplying student loan payments in ways which
20maximize fees to the servicer and placing borrowers into plans
21that delay the debt rather than repay it; and



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1    WHEREAS, The U.S. Department of Education has recently
2signaled that it is willing to make it easier for servicers of
3federal student loan debt to operate with less oversight and
4fewer protections for students by rolling back existing
5federal guidance and by seeking to thwart states' rights to
6protect students in their own states against student loan
7abuses; and
8    WHEREAS, Several states have already begun to take
9legislative and enforcement actions related to unfair and
10deceptive practices of student loan servicers; therefore, be
14we urge the United States Congress to recognize outstanding
15student debt as a crisis for Americans seeking an education
16that endangers the well-being of Americans and to work to
17develop and enact legislation that will forgive student loans
18for all current student loan borrowers and prevent future
19students from shouldering an insurmountable burden of debt;
20and be it further
21    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
22delivered to the President of the United States, the U.S.
23Senate Majority Leader, the U.S. Senate Minority Leader, the



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1U.S. Speaker of the House, the U.S. House of Representatives
2Minority Leader, and all members of the Illinois Congressional