Fremont senator discusses student debt at East Bay


Photo Courtesy of CSUEB

Kali Persall,
Managing Editor

Over 40 million Americans have student loan debt, Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, told Cal State East Bay students, staff and faculty at a presentation on campus on Wednesday.

From 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Wieckowski spoke to under 50 attendees in the University Union’s Bay View room about SB 16, a new bill that aims to alleviate student loan debt by lowering the amount of money that private loan creditors can be garnished from student’s wages to the same as federal student loan borrowers.

According to Wieckowski, private student loan creditors can take 25 percent of a working students’ disposable income, whereas federal student loan borrowers can only garnish 15 percent.

Federal loan borrowers have several repayment options that make it easier to make loan payments on time, such as the right to receive a 30-day notice beforehand, to request and inspect copies of loan documents, to request a hearing and argue against garnishment and to negotiate a repayment plan with the loan creditor, according to Wieckowski.

Private student loan borrowers do not have any of these rights, as lenders aren’t required to offer different repayment options regardless of circumstance. The bill aims to change the private student loan process to mirror the federal.

The bill was introduced on Dec. 5, 2016. According to the office of the senator, the bill hasn’t yet been assigned a hearing date, but by February will begin to go through a series of hearings, until Sept. 15, the deadline to present to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown will have until Oct. 15 to sign the bill which, if passed, will go into effect on Jan. 1 2018.