Almost 30 percent of Americans need a license to work. While this creates many burdens, a Georgia law weaponizes such licenses. The Peach State is one of only 15 states that can suspend the occupational licenses of those who fall behind on their student loan payments.
This policy works against its goal of encouraging Georgians to repay their student loans. Many cannot work without a license, and without a job, it can be virtually impossible to repay these loans. This law subsequently pushes Georgians into poverty, which harms their families and increases the likelihood that unemployed borrowers will seek taxpayer-funded assistance.
In the end, this law is detrimental and unnecessary. It doesn’t reliably discourage defaults, and other debt collection tools already exist that don’t strip individuals of their means to repay their loans. Thankfully, Rep. Scot Turner and Sen. Brandon Beach introduced HB 42 and SB 92, respectively, to repeal this harmful statute.