Oregon AG leads push to protect student borrowers

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s attorney general wants to better protect people who take out student loans.

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum publicly backed an initiative Monday to regulate student loan servicers like Navient and Nelnet. It would force servicers to become licensed under the state and educate students on the borrowing process.

Student loan companies have been criticized for misleading borrowers into taking up costly loans. The attorney general’s office says that at least 58 percent of students in Oregon graduate with debt. Outstanding student loan debt in the state has surpassed $18 billion, with borrowers taking out an average of $27,000 in loans.

But companies say they’re not beholden to state law and have challenged similar laws in other states with mixed success.