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5/31/2016 Senate approves Gallo bill to allow Student Loan Authority to refinance, consolidate loans
STATE HOUSE — The Rhode Island Senate today passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) that would empower the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority to refinance and consolidate existing eligible loans.

The bill (2016-S 2453) would also authorize the authority to purchase and invest in its own bonds and notes.

“Every year we see the cost of education go up and up while salaries remain all too stagnant,” said Senator Gallo, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Education. “Students graduate from college only to be saddled with crippling debt that haunts them for decades. This legislation will enable the Student Loan Authority to refinance and consolidate existing loans to help these former students to manage their debt and get on with their lives.”

The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority is a non-profit quasi-state agency which has been providing affordable higher education solutions since 1981. The authority offers low cost state-based education loans, free admissions and financial aid assistance through the College Planning Center of Rhode Island, and financial literacy guidance at high schools and colleges throughout the state. The authority does not receive any funds from the state of Rhode Island.

“For those students in Rhode Island who have an exceedingly high debt, this legislation will hopefully get them some lower interest rates through refinancing,” said Senator Gallo. “The Rhode Island Student Loan authority is a great success story with one of the lowest bond rates and student loan rates in the country. This legislation will help them enhance the great work they’re already doing.”

The legislation, which is cosponsored by Senators Ryan W. Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln) and Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Newport, Tiverton, Little Compton), now heads to the House, where similar legislation (2016-H 7370) has been introduced by Rep. Michael J. Marcello (D-Dist. 41, Scituate, Cranston).  

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903