In case you’ve been hiding out under a rock and haven’t heard, our country has a trillion dollar student loan debt debacle that is on the verge of collapse. We’ve been lobbying for lawmakers and the administration to sit up and take notice, but there’s been little action. Last week, a little headway was made when the administration announced it was cutting the fees paid to private debt collectors chasing down federal student loan debt. But that’s not near enough.
A little glimmer of hope, though, came just as Congress was breaking for a two week recess. Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) introduced a bill on her way out the door – and it’s a good one! The Student Loan Fairness Act of 2013 (HR 1330) is intended, according to a statement released from Bass’ office, “to address the out of control debt being placed on the backs of over 37 million student loan borrowers across the country.”
Her statement also says this will prevent Congress from having to constantly make short-term deals each year to keep interest rates from doubling. On her website, Representative Bass invites all voters in agreement with her stance to become “citizen co-sponsors” of her bill.
Bass proposes to address the student loan crisis with this new legislation which is a combination of two bills from the 112th Congress – HR 4170 (Student Loan Forgiveness Act) and HR 5895 (The Graduate Success Act.) To read the full text of this important legislation, click here.
Here are some of the features of The Student Loan Fairness Act of 2013:
→Creates a 10-10 standard for student loan repayment. Borrowers would pay 10% of their discretionary income for 10 years. After that, the remainder would be forgiven.
→Permanently caps interest rates at 3.4% to eliminate the need to shore up this interest rate each year before it expires and doubles.
→Allows eligible borrowers to convert private student loans to federal loans.
→Suspends interest for unemployed borrowers.
→Rewards graduates for opting for careers in public service.
Representative Bass said,
“I’m introducing this legislation to address the crippling issue of student loan debt and the debilitating impacts this debt is having on American’s ability to contribute to the growth of the United States economy. In Washington we talk a lot about not passing debt onto the backs of our children and grandchildren – well there is no more immediate or direct debt on the backs of future generations than the amounts taken from their paychecks to pay back increasingly expensive student loan debts. We have gotten to this place by not adequately addressing how we finance higher education and treating a college degree as though it isn’t an investment for the collective public good of our country. Education is a ladder to economic opportunity but for far too many Americans the opportunity is coming at too great a cost.”
This is a long statement, but we felt it was important to publish it because what she has to say captures so aptly the crux of the student loan crisis that’s affecting so many. Please help us support this critical legislation by sharing this page with friends, tweeting it and passing on any kind of link love that will draw attention to (and gain support for) this Act!
If you agree with the tenets of Representative Bass’ legislation, The Student Loan Fairness Act of 2013, click here to help support this critical piece of legislation!
And if you’re already saddled with student loan debt – no matter how much or little – try Tuition.io’s free student loan management tool that helps you manage and service your debt.