MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now today invited the Wisconsin chapter of the national Campaign to Fix the Debt to join in efforts to tackle the trillion dollar student loan debt crisis plaguing state college students, graduates and their families and suppressing economic activity.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross commented, “The ”Campaign to Fix the Debt’ says they want to reduce federal debt out of concern for the impact on the economy and future generations. What better way for them to fulfill their mission than by joining us and tackling the trillion-dollar student loan debt crisis burdening Wisconsin students and families and dragging down our economy.”
In Wisconsin, 67% of graduates from four-year public and private colleges and universities leave with an average of over $26,000 in student loan debt.
Original research by the One Wisconsin Institute found individuals with bachelor degrees with student loan debt were making average monthly payments of $350 on loans with an average term of nearly 19 years. For those with advanced degrees, the situation was worse, with monthly payments averaging $448 on loans with an average term of 22 years.
The economic impacts of this crushing debt load are, according to the research, severe, reducing new car purchasing by over $200 million annually in Wisconsin and significantly suppressing home ownership rates.
In the letter to the Wisconsin co-chairs of the organization, former Congressman Scott Klug and Governor Tony Earl, Ross noted that even though the federal debt was exploded by reckless, trickle down economic tax cuts for the wealthy and two wars on the credit card, the campaign’s Washington D.C. based founders have advocated raising the retirement age and cutting federal student loan subsidies that hold interest rates down.
“The federal debt isn’t the fault of college students or parents hoping for a better future for their children, and they shouldn’t bear the brunt of repaying it. If we’re going to take on debt in this country, out of true concern for our economy and future generations, the trillion dollar student loan debt crisis that stands between millions of college graduates and their share of the American dream needs to be solved,” concluded Ross.