Many Americans have struggled in this stagnant economy as the train wreck of Obamacare approaches, unemployment remains high and the costs of living continue to rise.
When you consider the fact that student loan rates recently doubled due to Senate inaction, the challenges facing students seem like the perfect storm.
According to a recent Fidelity Investment's study of college graduates from the classes of 2011, 2012 and 2013:
- 70% of the class of 2013 is graduating with student loan debt, averaging $35,200
- 54% of students graduating with student loan debt are expecting it to take more than nine years to pay off
- 7% do not think they will ever pay back their loans
- 25% say they will need the help of parents, personal savings, or a second job to pay back loans
In addition, many students have been forced to move back home due to the sluggish state of the economy, and nearly half of all unemployed workers in America today are under the age of 34.
When Washington tried to solve the student loan problem a few years ago, it only succeeded in making things worse. Measures that were meant to provide temporary relief have become a yearly, looming deadline when students’ loan rates hang in the balance. This is an irresponsible and unfair way to treat the millions of low and middle-income students who depend on this assistance to obtain a higher education.
I supported the Smarter Solutions for Students Act that would provide certainty for students by replacing the current loan rate system with market-based solutions and rate caps to protect borrowers. This reform package provides a long-term solution that students and parents can count on.