LAWTON, Oklahoma (KSWO) – Several Oklahoma public universities have raised tuition fees for the next academic year.
Because of this, many students will have to take out larger student loans.
Oklahoma Senate Bill 261 or the Oklahoma Student Loan Bill of Rights ensures that students know exactly what they are getting into if they need to take out a loan.
With student loan debt rising across the country, Oklahoma lawmakers like Senator John Michael Montgomery are making sure that borrowers know all the details of the loans they have taken.
“So the Bill of Rights for Student Loan Borrowers, basically the idea is to provide protection for those who take student loans,” Senator Montgomery said. “We’ve heard examples of major problems with misapplication of payments and there have been problems with disclosing that it was all about these loans and the like.”
Senate Bill 261 is co-sponsored by Montgomery.
Currently, lenders are not required to disclose how payments are used to pay off loan balances.
Montgomery hopes this new legislation will provide more transparency for students.
“So the bill simply describes that they must disclose to the student what type of loan they are taking, what protections they have in the process,” Montgomery said. “So, basically, how their payments are applied to pay off loans, or just what payment structures and the like.”
The law won’t take effect until the end of this year, but Cameron University is already doing everything it can to educate students on financial aid.
Yaping Ligon, Financial Resources Specialist at Cameron, helps students manage their money wisely.
“I help them navigate their studies and personal finances, so from understanding how far their help will go, and perhaps some options on how to fill the gap, and then personal finance, perhaps budgeting, planning for a semester, or understanding the use of credit, said Ligon.
At Cameron, their tuition fees won’t increase this school year, but Lygon says Bill 261 is still a big step for her students.
“I think it would be really great to have this additional protection so that all lenders adhere to the same standard and say that this is what our borrowers need to know, and perhaps this is something that has not been reported in the past, so I am glad. that there is such protection, – said Ligon.
Lygon said that while she thinks the law will be very beneficial for students, she still emphasizes the importance of learning all types of financial literacy.
This is the fourth year in a row that Cameron will have the same tuition rate.
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