NJ senate panel OKs measure to reform student loan program

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey senate panel has taken the first step toward revamping a state-run college student loan program that critics claim is inflexible and predatory.

The Senate Higher Education Committee approved a measure Monday that would forgive NJCLASS student loans if the borrower dies, even if a parent or guardian co-signed the loan.

But parents and student borrowers who testified at a joint hearing with the Senate's Legislature Oversight Committee said much more needs to be done to fix how the state handles the loans.

The loan program came under scrutiny after media reports focused on its stringent rules and aggressive collections process, which is much more restrictive than other states.

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