Stop Student Debt Relief Scams Act of 2019
This bill establishes criminal penalties for unauthorized access of certain student loan information and expands the requirements for student loan exit counseling.
Specifically, the bill makes it a crime to knowingly use an access device (e.g., account number) that was issued to another person or was fraudulently obtained to access Department of Education (ED) information technology systems for commercial advantage or private financial gain. A violator is subject to criminal penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to five years, or both.
Further, the bill expands loan exit counseling requirements to require an institution of higher education that participates in federal student-aid programs to provide an explanation to borrowers cautioning them about third-party student debt relief companies.
It also requires ED to prevent unauthorized access to the central database for student aid (i.e., the National Student Loan Data System) and warn borrowers of suspicious activity regarding their student loan accounts.