WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) joined Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) in introducing legislation to lower the cost of college for current and future borrowers.
The Student Loan Interest Elimination Actwould refinance the interest on federal student loans for all existing borrowers to zero percent and cap interest rates for future borrowers. Thanks to this fix, 43 million Americans with existing federally held student loans would see their interest rates immediately eliminated.
“Encouraging young people to pursue college is one of the most important things we can do to invest in our nation’s future and build a stronger middle class. The United States should never have been in the business of profiting off students,” said Rep. Grijalva. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation that will ease the lives of student loan borrowers by reducing interest rates to zero percent and reform student loan financing for future borrowers. As we move forward, it’s critical that we build on this legislation and address the underlying root issues of college affordability that continue to keep a higher degree out of reach.”
“Students and families are already saddling the rising costs of a college education. The federal government should not exacerbate the problem by making money off borrowers’ federal student loans. In fact, the average public university student who takes out a federal student loan today would pay $7,800 over the standard 10-year period in interest. That’s the difference between making mortgage or car payments, affording medical care, or saving for a stronger retirement,” said Rep. Courtney. “This bill is particularly important in the wake of SCOTUS’ decision to strike down President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. Students and families are counting on Congress to act on commonsense solutions to lower the cost of college and my bill will help achieve that goal.”
“Student debt holds so many Vermonters back from achieving their dreams—whether they’re hoping to buy a home, grow their family, or simply trying to make ends meet. It shouldn’t be this expensive to get an education, and it shouldn’t be this hard to pay off your debt,” said Senator Welch. “We can—and should—keep pushing for debt forgiveness, but we also need to make college more affordable for future generations and avoid saddling students with additional debt from high interest rates. By reducing the interest rate on existing federal student loans and capping future interest rates, The Student Loan Interest Elimination Act makes an affordable college education a reality for more students in Vermont and across the United States.”
The bill is co-sponsored by: Reps. Courtney (D-CT), Swalwell (D-CA), Wilson (D-FL), Grijalva (D-AZ), Takano (D-CA), Hayes (D-CT), Levin (D-CA), Pingree (D-ME), Carter (D-LA), Evans (D-PA), Adams (D-NC), Tokuda (D-HI), Norcross (D-NJ), Larson (D-CT), Morelle (D-NY), Porter (D-CA), Trahan (D-MA).
The bill is endorsed by: the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the Education Trust, and the Hildreth Institute.
To read a fact sheet on the bill, click here.
To read a section by section on the bill, click here.
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