Student Debt Task Force

On August 18, 2020, the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt released its final report to Gov. Tony Evers on how to address the growing student debt crisis in Wisconsin. The task force was created by Executive Order #67 and chaired by DFI Sec. Kathy Blumenfeld.

Read the Final Report

Wisconsin Student Loan Help Hotline

 

Announcement:

Free Student Loan Debt Hotline for Wisconsin Borrowers:
833-589-0750

This new Wisconsin Student Loan Help Hotline was created in partnership with the Wisconsin Coalition on Student Debt and Ascendium Education Solutions.  The Wisconsin Student Loan Help Hotline dedicated toll free number 833-589-0750 has been created to help student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Task Force Members

The Task Force shall be chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions Kathy Blumenfeld and include the following members, who will be supported by staff:

  • The Governor or a designee
  • The Executive Secretary of the Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) or designee
  • The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) or a designee
  • The State Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) or a designee
  • The Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) or a designee
  • The President of the University of Wisconsin System or a designee
  • A representative the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Board
  • The President Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges & Universities (WAICU) or a designee
  • Wisconsin Assembly, One Member from both the Majority and Minority
  • Wisconsin Senate, One Member from both the Majority and Minority
  • A representative from one of Wisconsin’s eleven federally recognized tribes
    • Shannon Holsey, President of Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians
  • Other individuals appointed by the Governor in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions to serve at the pleasure of the Governor, who may include individuals representing the business and academic community, the financial services industry, student loan borrowers, and parents of student loan borrowers.
    • Masood Akhtar, Founder & President, We Are Many United Against Hate
    • Keyimani Alford, President, Wisconsin Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA), Dean, Access and Student Success, Madison Area Technical College
    • Karen Bauer, Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee
    • Shannon Conlin, Assistant Attorney General, Wisconsin Department of Justice
    • Jodi Chung, Legal Assistant, Moen Sheehan Meyer
    • Lucy Fenzl, Interim Dean of Letters and Science at College of Menominee Nation
    • Renee Gasch, Media Consultant
    • Austin Hammond, Student, UW-Oshkosh
    • Maricha Harris, Lead Community Relations Analyst, Goodwill of SE Wisconsin
    • Rene Howard-Paez, Diversity Director, Marquette University High School
    • Silbi Isein, Student, UW-Milwaukee
    • Derek Kindle, UW-Madison Vice Provost for Enrollment Management
    • Paul Kundert, President & CEO, UW Credit Union
    • Kevin McShane, Vice President of Financial Aid & Compliance, Herzing University
    • Jamie Miller, Bankruptcy Attorney
    • Michael Moderski, President and COO, McFarland State Bank
    • Michael Rosen, Retired Economics Professor and Former Union President
    • Alexzandra Shade, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, CUNA Mutual Group
    • Casey Wachniak, School Administration Consultant with the Educational Approval Program (EAP), Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) 

If you have questions for the Task Force please contact us at: StudentDebtTaskForce@dfi.wisconsin.gov

Meetings

May 2020

 

​Date May 13, 2020
​Location Teleconference
Time 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Public Meeting  Notice Meeting Recording
Meeting PowerPoints: Meeting Overview
Student Debt Overview
COVID-19 & Student Debt

 

​Date May 27, 2020
​Location Teleconference
Time 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Public Meeting Notice Meeting Recording
Meeting PowerPoints: Meeting Overview
Affordability, Disparate Impact and Recommendations
Exploring Affordability and Disproportionate Impacts

 

June 2020

 

​Date June 3, 2020
​Location Teleconference
Time 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Public Meeting Notice Meeting Recording
Breakout Room #2 Recording
Breakout Room #3 Recording
Breakout Room #4 Recording – Unavailable Due to Technical Difficulties
Meeting PowerPoints: Meeting Overview
State Best Practices and Recommendations
Rhode Island Student Loan Authority Overview

 

​Date June 24, 2020
​Location Teleconference
Time 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Public Meeting Notice Meeting Recording
Meeting PowerPoints: Meeting Overview
Borrower Perspective
Consumer Protection Overview and Recommendations 
Ombudsman Overview and Recommendations 

 

 

July 2020

 

​Date July 8, 2020
​Location Teleconference
Time 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Public Meeting Notice Meeting Recording
Breakout Room #2 Recording
Breakout Room #3 Recording
Meeting PowerPoints: Meeting Overview
Tribal College Overview and Recommendations – Lucy Fenzl
Tribal College Overview and Recommendations – Shannon Holsey
For-Profit Institutions Panel Discussion – Seth Frotman
For-Profit Institutions Panel Discussion – Casey Wachniak

 

​Date July 22, 2020
​Location Teleconference
Time 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Public Meeting Notice Meeting Recording
Breakout Room #2 Recording
Breakout Room #3 Recording
Meeting PowerPoints: Meeting Overview
Employee Benefits Overview and Recommendations
Savi Overview and Recommendations

 

August 2020

 

​Date August 5, 2020
​Location Teleconference
Time 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Public Meeting Notice Meeting Recording
Meeting PowerPoints: Meeting Overview

 

​Date August 12, 2020
​Location Teleconference
Time 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Public Meeting Notice Meeting Recording
Meeting PowerPoints: Meeting Overview

 

 

Final Report

Read the Final Report

graduation-cap

On August 18, 2020, the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt announced the release of its final report on student debt prepared at the request of Governor Tony Evers. The report outlines eight recommendations for how Wisconsin can provide relief, education, and protection to its student debtholders now and in the future.

After months of research, listening sessions, consultation with external experts and colleagues in other states, the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt finalized its 120-page report during a WebEx meeting on August 12, 2020. The electronic report includes 37 proposed solutions and eight recommendations approved by the task force during previous meetings. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the task force convened and completed its work virtually. The task force was chaired by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld.

The task force submitted the following eight recommendations to Gov. Evers for consideration: 1) create a Borrower Bill of Rights and Student Loan Ombudsman; 2) enhance proprietary school regulations and reinstate the Educational Approval Board; 3) improve financial literacy education; 4) increase need-based, targeted aid for postsecondary education and create a statewide promise program; 5) strengthen student loan counseling; 6) consider targeted loan forgiveness programs; 7) promote refinancing opportunities with other states; and 8) create a state student debt relief tax credit. These recommendations are the result of expansive dialogue between experts from government, industry, academia, and student loan borrowers.

The Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt was created by Executive Order #67 to address the growing student debt crisis in Wisconsin. The 32-member task force included borrowers, industry leaders, legislators, financial aid experts, and lenders to share a broad spectrum of ideas and experiences to inform the work of the task force. To learn more, read the final report.

Glossary of Terms

Contact Us

Contact us with any questions you may have.

Contact Us

News

DFI Sec. Blumenfeld Delivers Democratic Radio Address on Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt Final Report – News Release – September 3, 2020

Sen. Jeff Smith: It’s Time to Act on Student Debt – The Cap Times – September 2, 2020

Student Debt Loan Report Highlights Recommendations for Aid – Spectrum News – September 1, 2020

Sen. Smith’s Community Conversation on the Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt – Office of State Senator Jeff Smith – August 28, 2020

Task Force on Student Debt Releases New Report with Recommendations for Governor – WXOW News19 – August 19, 2020

Sen. Smith’s Statement Regarding His Work on the Student Debt Task Force – Office of State Senator Jeff Smith – August 18, 2020

Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt Releases Final Report – News Release – August 18, 2020

Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt August 5 Meeting – WisconsinEye – August 5, 2020

Jeff Smith: Student Debt and Our Future – Green Bay Progressive – July 8, 2020

Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt July 8 Meeting – WisconsinEye – July 8, 2020

Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt June 24 Meeting – Wisconsin Eye – June 24, 2020

Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt June 3 Meeting – Wisconsin Eye – June 3, 2020

Newsmakers: COVID-19 Update with DFI Sec. Kathy Blumenfeld – WisconsinEye – May 20, 2020

Advice for Borrowers of Student Loans – NBC 26 News – May 18, 2020

Student Debt Task Force Meets for First Time Amid Pandemic — Wisconsin Examiner – May 14, 2020

Gov. Evers Announces Appointments to Governor’s Task Force on Student Debt​ —​ News Release – May 11, 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Coronavirus Didn’t Start the Student Debt Crisis, It’s Just Making it Worse – Wisconsin Examiner – May 5, 2020

Wisconsin Governor Creates Student Debt Task Force – U.S. News and World Report – January 31, 2020

Governor signs order creating student debt task force – Wisconsin State Journal – January 30, 3030

Evers creates student debt task force – The Badger Herald – January 30, 2020

Gov. Tony Evers Creates Student Debt Task Force – Wisconsin Public Radio – January 29, 2020

Task force created to address student loan debt – WEAU 13 News – January 29, 2020

Governor Evers creates student loan debt task force – WTMJ – January 29, 2020

Gov. Evers creates student debt task force – NBC15 – January 29, 2020

‘Addressing this issue:’ Gov. Evers signs executive order creating Task Force on Student Debt – FOX6 – January 29, 2020

Gov. Evers Signs Executive Order #67 Relating to Creating a Task Force on Student Debt​ —​ News Release – January 29, 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 

Teach students to calculate their student loan payments before taking out a loan to help guide decisions about their future.

54 % of student loan holders did not try to figure out what their monthly payments would be before taking out loans.

53 % said that if they could go back and redo the process of taking out loans, they would do things differently. GFLEC

Counseling

Student loan counseling is all about helping you understand your options and discover the path that best matches your needs and your goals. It’s a great option for anyone with a student loan payment who feels like they aren’t making the progress they should be.

Student loan counseling is available for anyone who has questions about how to better manage and repay student loans. Some of the most common reasons people seek student loan counseling include:

  • Deferment on your loans has recently ended
  • Loan payments are higher than you can manage with your current income
  • You have no income and aren’t sure of your deferment and forbearance options
  • You’ve been repaying your student loans for a long time with little progress
  • You’ve fallen behind on your student loan payments and worry about what happens next

Basically, if your student loans are causing you distress and you aren’t sure what to do next, a student loan counselor can be an unbiased, judgment-free source of advice and support.

Going to college is challenging enough, but repaying the resulting student loan debt can be even more daunting.  If you have student loans and need help with paying off your student loan debt we have a list of loan servicers as well as counselors you can talk to.