Assembly Dems Bill Forgiving Student Loan Debt in Event of Borrower’s Death or Permanent Disability Heads to Governor’s Desk
Mazzeo, Zwicker, Jasey, Vainieri Huttle, Schaer, Jones, Eustace, Land, Gusciora, Andrzejczak, Downey, Houghtaling & Mukherji Bill would Eliminate Student Loan Debt in the Event of Death or Permanent Disability
The Senate granted final legislative approval Thursday to a bill that would forgive certain student loan debt in the event of a borrower's death or total permanent disability, a measure sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Andrew Zwicker, Mila Jasey, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Gary Schaer, Patricia Jones, Tim Eustace, Bruce Land, Reed Gusciora, Bob Andrzejczak, Joann Downey, Eric Houghtaling and Raj Mukherji.
"Imagine you're a family who always pays their bills, has good credit and then you lose a child and in the midst of your grief, you're saddled with tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in their remaining student loan debt," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "That's just something we can't allow to happen on our watch."
"To expect a student's family or other survivors to pay their college loan debt in the event of their death is cruel and unacceptable. We can do better than that," said Zwicker (D-Somerset/Mercer/Middlesex/Hunterdon).
"I've heard a number of heartbreaking stories of grieving parents being saddled with their child's student loan debt after they passed away. That's something no one should have to endure," said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris), Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee.
The bill (S-743/A-2761), which was approved by the Assembly last month, directs the state Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to forgive certain student loans in the event of a student borrower's death or total and permanent disability and grant deferment for temporary total disability.