As veterans across the country graduate this month, Student Veterans of America believes that their student debt burden will be one of the largest factors affecting their long-term success. Veterans consistently cite the following challenges: difficulty obtaining accurate information about loans, convoluted pathways to gathering information or implementing programs, and unnecessary roadblocks put in place by loan servicers.

These three issues manifest in various ways as service members and veterans seek to pay off their education debt. Ensuring that service members and veterans can base their borrowing decisions on sound information is of the utmost importance to Student Veterans of America.

In a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report released in 2014, comments were collected from over 1,300 individuals with student debt. Of the top five complaints, representing 93 percent of the responses, all were related to misinformation. These include: communication tactics, continued attempts to collect debt not owed, disclosure verification of debt, false statements or representation, and improper contact or sharing of information.

L.D. 1507, the student loan servicing oversight bill that garnered a unanimous “ought to pass” from the Legislature’s Insurance and Financial Services Committee, would go a long way toward addressing these servicer abuses.

Despite this, and the support from Maine’s student veterans, the AARP and student loan counselors, the Maine Senate has tabled the bill. Our Legislature and governor have a long tradition of standing with veterans against corporations and their lobbyists. It is our hope that they will once again do so, and allow L.D. 1507 to pass.

Omar Andrews

Marine Corps veteran;

president, Student Veterans of America, University of Southern Maine Chapter

Portland