News Column

Congressman Ruben Hinojosa on President's Stand to Make Student Loans More Affordable

June 9, 2014

WASHINGTON, June 9 -- Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas (15th CD), issued the following news release:

Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, Ranking member on the Education and the Workforce Sub-Committee, released the following statement today in support of President Barack Obama's plan to help millions of people who have borrowed to pay for their college education better manage their debt. That is why President Obama signed a new Presidential Memorandum directing the Secretary of Education to propose regulations that would allow an additional 5 million federal direct student loan borrowers the opportunity to cap their student loan payments at 10 percent of their income.

"The crushing burden of student loan debt is hurting our economy and holding back a generation of young Americans, and House Democrats stand with the President in the urgent need to address this growing challenge," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa. "That is why Congress must pass the Bank on Students Emergency Refinancing Act."

President Obama has put into effect a series of executive actions to reduce the burden of student loan debt and make college more affordable for all Americans.

Congressman Hinojosa, who attended the signing of the Presidential Memorandum at the White House today, added, "States are critical partners in making college accessible and affordable. However, state support for higher education has declined in recent years, contributing to rising tuition costs at public colleges and universities. Since the federal government cannot solve the college affordability crisis on its own, I have introduced the "Partnerships for Affordability and Student Success Act," legislation that would revitalize the federal-state partnership through formula grants to states with a focus on need-based aid and grants to institutions to improve student outcomes and reduce college costs."

Recent analysis of the Bank on Students Emergency Refinancing Act by the Congressional Research Service shows that a middle-class undergraduate student borrower with an average loan debt would save more than $4,000 over the life of his or her loan. A typical graduate student would save more than $2,500, and parents who borrowed to pay for their child's education would save more than $3,500.

"Higher education is one of the most important investments that young people can make in their futures - a key ladder of opportunity that is increasingly essential to success in the modern economy," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa. "Yet over the past three decades, the average tuition at a public four-year college has more than tripled, and more students than ever are relying on loans to pay for college."

- 71 percent of those earning a bachelor's degree graduate with debt, averaging $29,400;

- Total student loan debt has hit $1.2 trillion - a massive weight on the lives of millions of young Americans.

The President's memorandum today also outlines new initiatives to:

- Strengthen incentives for loan contractors to serve students well;

- Ensure active-duty military get the full student loan interest rate relief they are entitled to;

- Promote awareness of repayment options; and

- Improve outreach to vulnerable borrowers and improve the information available to students and families.

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Source: Targeted News Service

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