MADISON, Wis. — The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross regarding the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on federal student loan legislation and Reps. Ron Kind and Mark Pocan’s calls for further action necessary to stem the trillion dollar plus student loan debt crisis:
“While some Washington D.C. politicians like Sen. Ron Johnson are all too eager to declare the student loan debt crisis solved, it is clear more action is needed if we are to stop the trillion-dollar plus student loan debt crisis from becoming a two trillion dollar economic catastrophe.
“Thankfully, Representatives Ron Kind and Mark Pocan get it.
“They understand that allowing interest rates to soar above 6.8% by 2015 is not a permanent solution. And that letting the federal government profit and help balance the budget with the interest on loan debt is a raw deal for students and their families.
“We applaud Reps. Kind and Pocan and their call for Congress to take up common sense solutions that will help make sure an education – be it at a university degree or job training at a technical college – is a path to the middle class and not a multi-decade debt sentence.
“We need to help borrowers who’ve done the right thing by working hard to get an education and taking on the personal responsibility of paying for it by letting them refinance their loans, like they could a mortgage. And we need to help future generations make their dream of a higher education a reality by expanding financial aid for eligible students.
“The system is still broken and it still needs to be fixed. It hasn’t happened yet, but with leaders like Reps. Kind and Pocan the fight will continue until it does.”
One Wisconsin Now’s partner organization, the One Wisconsin Institute recently released the results of ground breaking research showing the average length of debt for borrowers with technical college, undergraduate and graduate degrees ranges from 18 to 22 years and significantly reduces their ability to make major consumer purchases like a home or new car.