PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – People in Illinois who still owe money on private and non-federal student loans can now receive temporary relief as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. During this time, families with school-aged children who receive food assistance will be entitled to additional benefits.
Governor JB Pritzker announced the new relief efforts on Tuesday as the state reported 1,551 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 119 new virus-related deaths in the past 24 hours. This brings the total for the statewide pandemic to 33,059 confirmed cases and 1,468 deaths.
Pritzker said the recently passed federal CARES law provided relief for those struggling with federal student debt due to the pandemic, including the automatic suspension of monthly payments and interest and the halt of involuntary collection activities until to September 30.
But he said it’s left out millions of people across the country, including an estimated 140,000 Illinois, who owe money on private, not federal, student loans.
Pritzker said these former students will now receive similar relief thanks to agreements reached by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation with 20 student loan managers. The agreement allows borrowers to request a 90-day forbearance without a negative credit report during this period.
The deal is part of a multi-state effort that involves financial regulators and student loan departments in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.
Pritzker also announced that the state has received federal approval to provide expanded benefits to approximately 300,000 Illinois families with school-aged children who receive assistance through the Nutrition Assistance Program. Supplement, or SNAP, providing approximately $ 112 million in additional food assistance to these families.
He said his administration is also working to expand eligibility for this program to families who are entitled to free or discounted meals at school but are not currently receiving SNAP.
“No child should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from,” Pritzker said.
Photos: Thank you to all the essential workers fighting the coronavirus