College students today graduate with the terrible burden of an average of $25,000 in student-loan debt. That total increases with the rising costs of tuition, even at public colleges and universities, and by the actions of our own government in letting the rates for student loans rise. If nothing is done by July 1, the rates will rise again.
Such heavy responsibilities will hold graduates back for years to come. Instead of kicking students when they are down, we should end the student debt crisis. That is why we are enthusiastically endorsing the first bill introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), which would lower student loan interest rates for one year to 0.75 percent, the same rate at which the government loans money to the banks through the Federal Reserve discount window. Student loan interest rates will double to 6.8 percent on July 1 without action.
By linking the interest rates students pay to the interest rates big banks pay, the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act would insure that every qualified student can afford the education that he or she has earned. Senator Warren was right on the money when she said, “In effect, the American taxpayer is investing in those banks. We should make the same kind of investment in our young people who are trying to get an education.”
We hope her colleagues in the Senate and the members of the House see how Senator Warren’s bill will brighten the future of millions of students while at the same time energize the U.S. economy.