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MDDCCUA testifies on CU student loans

Mon, Jul 29, 2013

Columbia, Maryland

On July 23, MDDCCUA was invited to participate in a hearing of the Maryland State Financial Education and Capability Commission.  The Commission is currently looking at the issues surrounding student loans from many different perspectives, and MDDCCUA was asked to make a presentation to the Commission regarding the role that Maryland credit unions play in the private student loan market, and how, if at all, the student loan debt explosion has made it more difficult for consumers to receive loans in other areas.

MDDCCUA Vice President of Advocacy Ricardo Pineres testified on behalf of the Association.  His testimony focused on three key points: credit union student loans have far lower delinquency rates than the national average, credit unions are educating potential borrowers regarding other financing options to ensure that they have exhausted scholarships/grants/federal loans before seeking a private student loan, and that there is little direct evidence, to date, showing that the student debt explosion has hurt other lending at Maryland credit unions.

During the hearing, the Commission appeared impressed by the low rates of delinquencies that credit unions had in their student loan portfolios.  Furthermore, the Commission expressed their delight regarding the work that credit unions are doing with regards to educating students and their families.

In order to ensure that the credit union perspective is heard, MDDCCUA will be continuing to work with the Commission as they attempt to find policy recommendations regarding student loans.  The Commission is scheduled to have two more meetings in 2013, and are scheduled to hear from the CFPB, among others making policy recommendations, ahead of the Commission’s early-December deadline for presenting findings and recommendations to the General Assembly.  Should you have any questions regarding the Commission or MDDCCUA’s testimony, please contact Ricardo Pineres (rpineres@mddccua.org).