News Column

Durbin: Let Students Refinance Their Loans At Lower Interest Rates

June 5, 2014



WASHINGTON, June 5 -- The office of Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., issued the following news release:

The dream of a fair shot at an affordable college education has become a long shot for too many, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today during a press conference with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senate Democratic Leadership. Durbin urged Congressional Republicans to back the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would help 1.7 million Illinoisans, currently with outstanding student loan debt, refinance their loans at lower federal interest rates. The average student loan debt for Illinois students in the class of 2012 was $28,028.

"What we have with this legislation is a lifeline. I've been all over the state of Illinois, to Chicago and downstate, and campus after campus, story after story and student after student it's all the same. Students and their families are overwhelmed with debt in America. It reduces their opportunities in life. We're going to give them a chance to refinance their loans at a lower interest rate so they can come to grips with this debt which has compromised their lives up to this point," Durbin said. Video of Durbin and Warren's remarks at the Leadership Press Conference is available here.http://www.durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/videos?ID=deef14a7-2287-4a1d-a92f-99f1114e4e73

Audio of Durbin's and Warren's remarks at the Leadership Press Conference is available here.http://durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=5e74a6f7-b7de-42d2-90ba-52f060504fbd

Yesterday, Durbin joined Warren (D-MA) and U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and others to introduce the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates currently offered to new borrowers. Durbin has also sponsored the Student Loan Borrower's Bill of Rights, which would ensure struggling student loan borrowers are treated fairly and understand the full range of repayment options and resources available to them. Durbin, Warren, and Reed have been working together on efforts to build broad support in the Senate for legislative action to reduce new student loan debt and make it easier for millions of working families to manage the student loan debt they already have.

There are nearly 40 million Americans with outstanding student loans. Many of these borrowers have interest rates of nearly 7 percent or higher for undergraduate loans, while students taking out new undergraduate loans this year borrowed at a rate of 3.86 percent under the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act brokered by Durbin and passed by Congress last summer. The Bank on Students Emergency Refinancing Act could lower payments for millions of those individuals by hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.

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