Protect professional licenses

Georgia Watch supports legislation that protects the professional licenses of student loan borrowers.

Georgia is currently one of 15 states that can suspend the professional licenses of individuals who have fallen behind on their student loans. Nationally, such licensing suspension laws were largely the result of a crackdown on delinquent borrowers throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The U.S. Department of Education recommended that states adopt these laws, and many did. It is certainly important to hold borrowers accountable, but this must be done responsibly. As it stands, this policy is counterproductive and essentially pushes workers into poverty.

Current Georgia legislation: There are two bills in the legislature that would protect student loan borrowers’ professional licenses.

  • Introduced by Rep. Scot Turner (R-21), House Bill 42, currently in the House Higher Education Committee, would make it illegal for state licensing boards to take away professional licenses due to student loan debt or default.
  • Introduced by Sen. Brandon Beach (R-21), Senate Bill 92, currently in the Senate Higher Education Committee, would make it illegal for state licensing boards to refuse to issue professional licenses due to student loan debt or default. The bill would also make it illegal for boards to suspend or revoke a license due to student debt.