Philadelphia, PA- As students get set to head back to Philadelphia to begin a new year of college, mountains of student debt could hamper their careers before they start. Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by local college graduate with loans Lydia Moore-Hill, pushed for passage of a plan that would allow those with current student loans in good standing to refinance at the new lower rate of 3.68% that was part of the Bipartisan Student Loan compromise that helped students taking out loans for the first time in 2013. Casey and Lydia discussed the challenges that the increasing cost of student debt has had on her plans.
“Far too many young Americans can’t get ahead today because of the burden of student loan debt,” said Senator Casey. “The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act would help students and recent graduates like Lydia Moore-Hill so they can start saving and working towards their future. This bill could help nearly 1.2 million Pennsylvanians, so I’m calling on Congress to make this legislation a priority.”
More than 40 million Americans owe almost $1.2 trillion in student loan debt, more than is owed on credit cards. According to The Institute for College Access & Success, as of 2012, Pennsylvania ranked 3rd in the nation on highest average student debt – nearly $32,000 per student – and 70% of graduates in our state leave with debt, the 4th highest of any state.
A college education is the surest path to middle-class success and is still the best investment a student can make. Getting a college degree opens the door to job opportunities, and for the average worker that means $1 million more in earnings over a lifetime compared to those with a high school diploma.
Based on calculations from the Congressional Research Service, a typical Pennsylvanian who owed the state average – nearly $32,000 – would be able to save more than $4,000 over the life of their loan. This bill would not only put money back in the pockets of millions of Americans but the bill will save the federal government more than $14 billion over 10 years, based on figures from the Congressional Budget Office.