This week marked the second anniversary of the date that the total amount of student loan debt exceeded the $1 trillion mark. An MSNBC report this week stated that at least 1.3 million Americans are enrolled in some type of federal student loan debt forgiveness program. The total amount of debt for these participants is nearly $72 billion.
United States Senator Sherrod Brown was in Perrysburg this past week to discuss two proposals he is promoting to reduce the costs of the student loan process. “The Know Before You Owe” Act, co-sponsored with Senator Richard Durbin is intended to require Colleges and Universities to clearly inform borrowers of the different risks associated with private loans versus federal loans, which are more predictable and have better interest rates.
Brown has also sponsored the “Refinancing Education Funding to Invest for the Future” Act. This proposal would enable students to refinance their student loans to get the best terms , similar to other types of consumer loans, including mortgages. Details of both plans are available on Senator Brown’s website or a summary is available in a press release released by the Senator’s office announcing the Perrysburg visit.
In his press release, Senator Brown stated that the average graduating student left school with approximately $30,000 in student loan debt. Nationwide, the total amount of student loan debt has now surpassed both consumer credit card and auto loan debt, trailing only mortgage loan debt , in total dollars. Unlike these other types of debt, student loan debt cannot even be discharged in bankruptcy. The result is a drag on the economy, as students wait to purchase a home, get married and start families.
The national conversation is just beginning on this topic. What are your thoughts on the increasing cost of a college education and the ever growing amount of student loan debt?