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Thousands of licenses suspended over student loan default

An obscure law passed nearly 20 years ago has led to 4,200 occupational licenses suspended in Tennessee since 2009 for failure to pay student loans, a Times Free Press article reports.

As it stands today,  if someone goes 270 days without paying their student loans, they default and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation notifies licensees they have 90 days to respond. The TSAC also lets licensees know their licenses are in jeopardy. If there is no response, licensing boards can take action.

Approximately 20 states have laws in place that link payment of student loans with professional licenses. But according to the Free Press report, most licensees are unaware of these laws, which were enacted in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The law itself, many argue, is counterproductive since it can have a crippling effect financially on individuals who can’t pay off their loans.

Read more here.