Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) introduced the Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act to reduce the burden of student loan debt on college graduates and their families and grow the economy. The bill would direct the Secretary of Education to lower interest rates on all federal student loans to 4%. It would also allow Americans with multiple federal student loans to consolidate them into one package and refinance to pay either the average of the loan interest rates or 4%, whichever is lower.
“I wouldn’t have been able to afford college without the help of work-study programs and low-interest federal student loans,” said Rep. Scott Peters. “Today, it is getting harder for qualified students to afford the higher education they need to compete in a brain-powered economy. As a result, millions of Americans are burdened with student debt that influences their career choices and forces them to put off decisions like buying a home, starting a family, or saving for retirement.”
Adjusted for inflation, the cost of a four-year college education is two and a half times as much as it was 35 years ago. The average borrower from the Class of 2016 graduated with more than $37,000 in student loan debt.
Rep. Peters continued, “This bill would lower monthly payments for millions of graduates and their families, save them thousands of dollars over the length of their student loans, and help alleviate the massive burden of student debt on our economy. By making college more affordable and more accessible for students from every zip code, we can expand opportunities for the next generation”
Today, 44 million Americans hold a total of $1.44 trillion in student loan debt. In California, according to the Institute for College Access and Success, borrowers owe an average of $22,191 in student loans. The Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act has 19 original co-sponsors.