While U.S. Senate Votes to Reduce Student Loan Interest Rates, For Now, $1.2 Trillion in Student Loan Debt Still Burdens American Families and Economy

Borrowers Not Asking For a Bailout, Just a Fair System

MADISON, Wis. — The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross on the passage of legislation to temporarily lower interest rates on federal student loans in U.S. Senate today:

“The U.S. Senate has voted to, temporarily, lower the interest rates on some new federal student loans, below the 6.8% that they rose to on July 1 because of Congressional Republican intransigence.

“But left unaddressed is the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis that currently burdens our economy and the finances of over 37 million hard working Americans.

“Borrowers did the right thing. They’ve worked hard and taken on the responsibility for funding the education they need to get ahead. They’re not asking for a bailout. But they deserve a system that treats them fairly and doesn’t turn their education into a multi-decade debt sentence.

“To stop the trillion dollar student loan debt crisis from becoming a two trillion dollar albatross on the American economy we need to do more, like common sense solutions allowing people to refinance their student loan, like they can a mortgage, deduct the interest on their student loans from their taxes and limit tuition increases to the rate of inflation.”

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.

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