The NJ Department of Banking and Insurance appoints a Student Loans Mediator who oversees the process to help student borrowers resolve loan disputes
The appointment of the student loans ombudsperson is part of the department’s job to help New Jersey student loan borrowers under a law enacted last year. The law requires that student loan administrators be licensed and regulated by the Department of Banking and Insurance. It also protects student loan borrowers from deceptive practices by student loan officers and provides assistance to borrowers who have concerns about their student loans, including the creation of a student loan ombudsperson within the ministry.
“At a time when many residents face financial challenges due to the public health emergency, it is essential that resources are available to guide them through their student loan repayment options and to resolve disputes with them. loan officers when they arise. ” said Commissioner Marlene Caride. “The Ministry will ensure that borrowers and their families have the information they need to make informed decisions about their student loans, including how loan agreements work and what is expected of them under the loan conditions. It will also help borrowers with litigation, so they don’t have to face the challenge of navigating the student loan process on their own. “
“Thanks to Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey is helping student borrowers manage their debt and strengthen consumer protection. At HESAA, we have expanded financial aid to reduce the amounts students need to borrow, increased transparency of college costs, and created new affordable payment options for state NJCLASS supplemental student loans, ” said David J. Socolow, executive director of the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). “HESAA commends DOBI for this initiative to protect student loan borrowers from unfair loan officer practices.”
“Every New Jersey student should have clear and transparent advice on the terms of their student loan and the resources available to make college education affordable.” said Acting Higher Education Secretary Diana Gonzalez. “The Student Loans Ombudsman will help us realize this vision and provide much needed support to students by providing training on loan terms and helping resolve complaints against lenders and service providers. “
Raghu Kakumanu, deputy director of the banking division, in the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, has been appointed as the student loan mediator. The deputy director of the division, Kakumanu, heads the Office of Consumer Finance through which inquiries and complaints regarding student loans will be handled.
In addition to helping resolve student loan disputes between student loan borrowers and student loan administrators, the Department will help student loan borrowers understand their rights and responsibilities under the terms of their student loans, including other responsibilities.
The ministry also implemented the licensing process for student loan administrators who are regulated by the ministry under the law. Last month, the Ministry released a bulletin to the industry that creates the licensing process for student loan managers on the National Multi-State Licensing System (NMLS). The ministry began accepting applications for licensure in mid-September.
The law’s implementation builds on the ministry’s work to assist student loan borrowers. In April, the Ministry worked to negotiate relief options with private student loan officers extend federal government protections to federal student loan borrowers; relief was available to approximately 200,000 New Jerseyans with private student loans.
The department is working with the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to set up a training course for student loan borrowers and provide materials to educate borrowers about student loans. Information on student loans, how to file a complaint with the ministry and the new law can be found on the website of the Ministry of Banking and Insurance here: https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/finance/studentloan/index.html.
Student loan borrowers who have issues with their student loans that they cannot resolve with their student loan officers can file a complaint with the Department of Banking and Insurance by calling 1-800-446-7467 or by calling. online by going to the department. website and by clicking on Consumer Assistance – Inquiries / Complaints, at: https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/consumer.htm and completing the Formal banking complaint form.