New Jersey's 21st Legislative District

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

Senator Tom Kean

NOW LAW: Kean Bill Will Protect Students Struggling to Repay NJ CLASS College Loans

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Senator Tom Kean’s legislation to help students who are having trouble repaying their NJCLASS loans was signed into law.

Sen. Tom Kean’s legislation to help students who are having trouble repaying their NJCLASS loans was signed into law. (Flickr)

“The NJ CLASS loan program was designed to aid students who need financial assistance beyond what the federal loan program has provided,” said Kean (R-21). “Students who are having trouble repaying these loans shouldn’t be punished with overly-aggressive collection practices, especially if they are making efforts to get their loans back in good standing.”

Kean’s bipartisan law, S-765, provides that if a NJCLASS loan is in default and the borrow has entered into a repayment plant, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) may not notify a New Jersey state department that could withhold income tax refunds and homestead benefit payments.

The bill provides that a borrower’s delinquent or default status on an NJCLASS loan may not be used as the basis for the denial, suspension, or revocation of the borrower’s professional or occupational license, certification, or registration.

The new law also prohibits HESAA from notifying a department that could withhold a borrower’s lottery winnings if the borrow has already entered into a repayment plan.

“I have spoken with young people and their families who have lost the opportunity to advance their career or maintain financial security because of HESAA’s ability to garnish wages,” added Kean. “Additionally, this law will ensure that borrowers are not prevented from working and earning the money they need to repay their loans.”

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