BOSTON (WWLP) – Legislation was passed to prevent professional licenses to be revoked for individuals who default on their student loans, according to a news release on Monday from Senate President Karen Spilka’s office.

Currently, until the bill is signed by Governor Baker, Massachusetts is one of 14 states where licenses or professional certifications can be revoked, denied, or refused for renewal as a result of residents defaulting on their student loan debt. There is nearly $31 billion in federal student loan debt of approximately one million Massachusetts residents, with an average debt of $34,146 per borrower. 

To check the license status of a professional in Massachusetts, visit Mass.gov.

“Student loan debt disproportionately affects young, low-income individuals who are making the kinds of investments in their future that we should be encouraging,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “Revoking professional licenses that they obtained with a student loan does nothing to solve the problem of loan defaults, and it actively makes the problem worse by preventing new professionals from having the means to pay off their loans. I want to thank Senator Eldridge for his attention and determination in seeing this common-sense bill over the finish line.” 

“I am proud to announce that the Senate has passed the license revocation ban bill, known as an act prohibiting license revocation for student loan default. Nearly one million Massachusetts residents are struggling because of student loans. As the federal moratorium approaches its end, we must recognize Covid-19’s continuous impact on employment and borrowers’ financial situations,” said Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. “The bill will ensure that borrowers, who are heavily burdened by student loans, can still continue their career and work towards repayments of their educational loans. Thank you to Representative Higgins for her leadership on filing and fighting for this legislation. Congratulations to the hard-working advocates, and staff.” 

The bill is awaiting Governor Baker’s approval after being passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives.