Senator Stabenow Fighting to Make College More Affordable

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today joined Senator Elizabeth Warren to introduce legislation that would save millions of borrowers money on their student loans. The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act would allow responsible borrowers with outstanding student loan debt, including some privates loans, incurred at past higher interest rates to refinance at the low rates currently offered only to new borrowers. This would save borrowers hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. At a time when many students are being dragged down by their debt and forced to forego buying a house or getting married, the government is projected to make $66 billion in revenue on federal student loans made between 2007 and 2012.

"Too many people in Michigan are saddled with decades of debt just because they wanted a fair shot to go to college and get ahead," said Stabenow. "That is why I'm fighting alongside Sen. Warren and my other colleagues to make college more affordable and to help borrowers who are already weighed down by exploding and unsustainable levels of student debt. Helping these borrowers will improve the lives of millions of Americans and boost our economy by allowing them to spend their money on a home, a car, and the needs of their families instead of on interest payments."

There are nearly 40 million Americans with outstanding student loans. The Bank on Students Emergency Refinancing Act could lower payments for millions of people by hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.

The average student loan debt among those who borrow to get a bachelor's degree is nearly $30,000 and many borrowers are stuck with unsustainable levels of student debt for two and even three decades of their lives.

The legislation is fully funded by enacting the Buffett Rule, which would limit special tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that allow millionaires and billionaires to pay lower effective tax rates than middle class families. The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Begich (D-AK), Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY), Al Franken (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Edward Markey (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).