News Column

Braley Backs Bill to Address Skyrocketing Student Loan Debt

June 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, June 12 -- Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa (1st CD), has issued the following news release:

Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today signed onto the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, allowing individuals to refinance their student loan debt at lower interest rates, helping address the record high levels of crippling loan debt and delinquencies increasingly affecting millions of students and their families.

The U.S. Department of Education estimates this new legislation would benefit 311,000 Iowa student borrowers.

"Students that are getting an education and fighting for a brighter future shouldn't have to mortgage that same future in order to afford it," Braley said. "I was fortunate to have access to student loans when tuition was less costly and interest rates were dramatically lower--and it's important that current students and recent graduates have the same opportunities that I had."

Student loan debt today totals $1.2 trillion, $864 billion of which is backed by the federal government. More than 70 percent of students who graduated from college in 2012 had student loan debt.

The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act would allow eligible student loan borrowers to refinance their high-interest federal loans to the low rates offered to new federal student loan borrowers. The bill would also allow eligible students with loans from the private market to refinance their high-interest private student loans by converting the private loans to government loans. Those who refinance their private loans would gain access to the protections and benefits of the federal student loan programs.

Braley has repeatedly fought to keep student loan rates affordable for Iowa's students, writing Congressional leadership, urging them to make affordable student loan rates and priority. Braley also introduced the Student Loan Affordability Act in 2012 in an effort to prevent a significant spike in student loan rates.

A link to the bill can be found HERE.

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Source: Targeted News Service

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