(Sacramento) - Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and higher education students from around California rallied on the steps of the State Capitol in support of reducing student loan debt and to improving financial literacy education. "The $1 trillion student debt crisis not only threatens the financial future of today's students, but the economic future of our economy," Wieckowski said. "That's why I have introduced the Student Bill of Rights. Reducing the amount of debt saddling students will help families stabilize their finances and regain their financial footing." Wieckowski's Student Bill of Rights legislative package takes a two-pronged approach to the issue by educating students and helping them become financially-literate consumers on the front end, and easing the burden for those graduates who are struggling or unable to pay their debt after leaving college
The Student Bill of Rights aims to give California scholars the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond. This legislative package aims to ensure that California's students learn the basic financial skills required to become successful adults. To that end, students will also be entitled to the same comprehensive financial counseling, whether the loan is public or privately held.
Further, students struggling to make ends meet can no longer have their wages garnished for the repayment of many student loans. The package encourages creditors to work with the debtor and figure out a repayment plan that the student can manage.
Finally, if bankruptcy is designed to give a fresh start, it must include private loans in addition to public loans. As such, the Student Bill of Rights explicitly states California’s support for changing federal bankruptcy laws to remove the private loan exemption.