CHICAGO – State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) supported a newly signed law to prohibit colleges for withholding transcripts from students as a means of debt collection.

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“Imagine spending years getting your college degree only to be told you can’t access your transcript because your debt isn’t paid off,” Sims said. “How are we supposed to encourage people to attend college if they’re penalized for not being privileged enough to afford it out-of-pocket?”

Under the law, universities will be prohibited from withholding transcripts as a means of debt collection. It also requires colleges to institute a hardship policy to ensure students that have to withdraw due to significant financial or physical hardship leave school with as little debt as possible.

Additionally, the legislation prevents student debt that gets sent to a collection’s agency from being used against a student’s credit score.  

“Student debt is burdensome enough – people don’t need the added stress of not being able to receive their transcript,” Sims said.

Senate Bill 3032 was signed into law and took immediate effect.

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