Rep. Patti Minter sponsors bill to increase transparency in student loans


Patti Minter gives a victory speech following her win as State Representative in the 2018 midterms on Tuesday Nov 6.

Michael Crimmins, News reporter

Since her first election in November 2018, Patti Minter, WKU history professor and state representative, has sponsored numerous bills to help constituents in her district.

Minter won her election in 2018 and was the first woman to be in the Kentucky General Assembly from Warren County. She was preceded by Jody Richards, a name well known among WKU School of Media students. She will seek re-election when her term is up.

Recently, Minter prefiled House Resolution 96, “An act relating to student loan servicers.” While there were some minimal changes to the bill, according to Minter it is much the same as the bill she proposed last year.

Co-sponsoring BR 96 is Attica Scott, an African American woman from Louisville. 

“One of the reasons I’m proud to have her on this bill is that just this passed semester she paid off her student loans,” Minter said. “She has grown children. That speaks volumes.”

Minter has been teaching at WKU for 28 years, and during her career, in talking and listening to the students, she has seen the widespread “escalation of the student loan crisis.” 

She said students and her colleagues alike are facing the burden of their loans. 

“The theme is the same: I’m never going to get out from under this [student loans],” Minter said. “One of the reasons that’s true is because we have predatory lending practices.”

One of Minter’s constituents who graduated 10 years ago had never missed a payment on her loans, yet she said she had only paid $700 off her principle. The rest was on the interest alone. 

“The thing people say to me very frequently is ‘I wish I had known when I signed up for all this what I was getting myself into,’” Minter said.

That feeling of not knowing is universal according to Minter. While doing research for HR 96 she found that 12 other states have passed these borrower’s bill of rights legislation. 

Her bill seeks to accomplish three main things. First it, will require full transparency and disclosure 

“Give them [the signers and cosigners] the agency to decide if they want to do it or not.” 

Secondly, the bill would require loan servicers to disclose exactly what their bill is going towards, be it principle or interest, among other things such as the person’s balance.

Finally, BR 96 would also provide a remedy for people who have been “victimized” by predatory loan services, as well as giving the individual a means to complain to the state ombudsman, who can then refer cases to regulators for further action.

“We need to make sure someone has got student loan borrower’s backs, and I’m ready to be that person,” Minter said.

News reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @michael_crimm