MADISON, Wis. — As part of their student loan voter campaign, One Wisconsin Institute is releasing a series of video interviews featuring Wisconsin borrowers telling their stories about what student loan debt means to them and their families. The first video features Crystal, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin Madison Law School, currently working with the National Guard bureau representing victims of sexual assault.
“Borrowers like Crystal have done the right thing,” commented One Wisconsin Institute Program Director Analiese Eicher. “She and hundreds of thousands of other Wisconsinites worked hard to get an education and took on the personal responsibility to pay for it. They’ve earned a fair shot at the middle class but instead are caught in a system that’s stacked against them.”
Crystal shared in an interview the many challenges she faced to get her education, attending college while working full time and supporting her young son. Despite working full time through college and having a good job, she finds herself deeper in debt now than when she graduated because of the interest rates on the loans she took out to finance her education.
With all she has overcome, Crystal, who is also a survivor of cancer diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2012, describes how she feels “trapped” by her student loan debt.
The student loan voter campaign is dedicated to raising awareness about the student loan debt crisis that impacts over 43 million Americans with a collective debt in excess of $1.3 trillion and engaging voters in calls for reform and common sense solutions like allowing borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage.
Eicher concluded, “Crystal has an amazing story and experiences not everyone may have. But she does share the experience of nearly one million Wisconsin student loan borrowers with over $19 billion in debt who cannot refinance those loans. That’s why we’re working to educate and engage the public in demanding reform and to make ignoring student loan debt into the new third rail of American politics.”