Turner supports bill investigating HBCU student loan rates

By Scott Halasz - [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Mike Turner is joining the fight to make sure Central State and Wilberforce students are treated fairly by consumer lenders.

Turner became the first Republican to support the Examining Educational Redlining in Lending Act, which was recently introduced by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), his office announced Tuesday. The Examining Educational Redlining in Lending Act addresses a February report from the Student Borrower Protection Center that found some financial service firms may be engaging in educational redlining by placing higher borrowing costs on students who attend historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and community colleges.

“Under no circumstances should someone’s borrowing rate be higher because they attend a school that primarily serves minorities,” Turner said in a press release. “It is critical that the CFPB (consumer financial protection bureau) investigates the allegations of educational redlining. I will continue to support our HBCU and community college students by challenging discriminations such as this.”

Central State University President Dr. Jack Thomas said “Fair and equitable loans are a must for our students … “

“Central State University students and families already face significant financial challenges and costs to attend college,” he said. “We support Representative Fudge and Representative Turner’s efforts to curb ‘redlining’ of any HBCU student loans that would add to the burdens our students may face in attempting to successfully complete their educational experience at an HBCU. Fair and equitable loans are a must for our students at Central State University.”

The Examining Educational Redlining in Lending aims to investigate the “educational redlining” by directing the CFPB to conduct an assessment on the consumer financial industry’s use of educational data and underwriting processes that involve gathering data points and creating applicant profiles, including the use of automated or algorithmic processes, to determine a borrower’s creditworthiness; directing the CFPB to submit a report to the House Committee on Financial Services and Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs with details and recommendations on the assessment’s findings; and directing the CFPB to make the assessment publicly available within 30 days after completion.

“The Wilberforce University community wishes to express our thanks and appreciation to Representative Marcia L. Fudge and Representative Joyce Beatty for introducing and supporting The Examining Educational Redlining in Lending Act,” said Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard, president of Wilberforce University. “This legislation will significantly level-set for African-American students seeking support to finance their higher education and will eliminate the disadvantage historically connected to their attendance at an HBCU. This is an important inflection point for HBCUs and the students we serve as an awakened focus on these institutions and their tremendous impact is being recognized. We applaud the diligence and foresight of Representatives Fudge and Beatty and the early support of Representative Turner and all those who will support the passage of this legislation as a powerful affirmation for equitable access to higher education for all students. The principles and values of this great nation are on full display when all of its citizens can benefit equally for all that is available for their full development as human beings.”

If and when the legislation is passed, the assessment must begin within 180 days and be sent to Congress within 60 days of completion.

“A borrower of color should never be unfairly penalized solely because they attended a school that predominantly serves minority communities – it is inherently discriminatory and it is not right,” Fudge posted on her website. “Addressing the underlying factors that worsen racial inequality and prevent marginalized communities from getting a fair shake is central to our nation’s reckoning on systemic racism. Racial and economic justice go hand in hand, which is why we must root out redlining and other forms of financial discrimination. The Examining Educational Redlining in Lending Act is the first step towards ensuring borrowers of color are treated fairly and equitably during the lending process.”

By Scott Halasz

[email protected]

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.