Student Loan Default Can Kill Your Work License


Working professionals in Texas who fall too far behind in their student loan repayments can lose their license to work.

It’s state law – and it can (and does) deny teachers, medical professionals and others their livelihood.

Student loan defaults by educators, dentists, nurse – and other careers that require professional licensure – and lead to suspensions and revocations of work licenses in Texas and other states.

Supporter of such policies say it’s the last-resort means to get people what they owe and had legally agreed to repay.

Opponents, however, say that all it does it prevent people from earning the income they need – both to live and to repay on the loan.

The amount people owe on student loans is staggering – about $1.3 trillion nationally. In Texas alone, more than $70 billion of that outstanding student-loan debt is held, as Sharon Najmabadi reported for The Texas Tribune this week.

“There is no comprehensive source of data on how frequently this happens in Texas,” Najmabadi writes in a story posted Tuesday. “Records from multiple organizations and agencies suggest more than 4,215 people in the state – including security guards, cosmetologists and pharmacists – were at risk of losing their license because of student loan default in 2017.

An investigation by the Tribune found that since 2010, more than 500 Texas nurses who defaulted on their student loans have not been able to renew their licenses.

Also, almost 250 teachers have had their license renewals rejected over a five-year period because they have defaulted on their student loans.

The Tribune report cites Texas Education Agency figures.

Texas and 18 other states can hold, yank or refuse to renew the work licenses of teachers and other professionals if they’re in default on a student loan.

It’s been that way in Texas since 1989.

The Tribune story can be found here: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/03/20/texas-defaulting-student-loans-can-lo/ .


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