Legislation (H.R. 4137) was signed into law on August 14, 2008 to address skyrocketing college prices and remove other barriers that make it harder for qualified students to go to college. Included in the legislation are urgently-needed consumer protections for students and parents who rely on loans to help pay for college. These protections – which form a Bill of Rights for College Consumers – would help ensure that federal and private education loan programs work in the best interests of students and their families.
Here are the rights you have as a college consumer with the passing of H.R. 4137:
The College Consumer’s Bill of Rights
- You Have the Right to pay off your college loans early without incurring an early-repayment charge.
- You Have the Right to change your mind and cancel a private loan within three days of signing an agreement with a lender.
- You Have the Right to take 30 days after you are approved for a private loan to think about whether that loan is right for you – without risking changes to the loan terms.
- You Have the Right to take out a loan from the lender of your choice, regardless of whether that lender is on your college’s list of “preferred lenders.”
- You Have the Right to know if you are eligible for a federal student loan before you take out a private student loan that could carry higher interest rates and fees and feature more stringent repayment requirements.
- You Have the Right to clear and complete information from lending companies trying to earn your business. This information includes the interest rates you could pay, the estimated total cost of your loan, and your repayment options.
- You Have the Right to clear and complete information from lending companies that have approved you for a loan or made a loan to you. This information includes your interest rate, fees and finance charges, total repayment amount, and maximum monthly payment.
- You Have the Right to know that your student financial aid office does not accept gifts from or share revenues with lending companies.
- You Have the Right not to be subject to deceptive marketing campaigns by lending companies.
- You Have the Right to know that your student financial aid office and lenders offering both federal and private students loans are acting in your best interests.