Thursday, November 14, 2013

High Ed. Shouldn't Be Higher Debt, by Crystal Oravis

            The “Higher ED, Lower Debt” bill is circulating for co-sponsorship in the state legislature. All local officials, Sen. Jennifer Shilling, and Assembly Representatives Jill Billings and Steve Doyle, are supporters. This proposal could help thousands of students in debt, and also the residents affected by the economic backfire in Wisconsin’s economy.

The “Higher Ed, Lower Debt” bill represents solutions for Wisconsin’s student loan borrowers. This bill will enable students using state loans to have the ability to refinance student loans at lower interest rates.

The bill will also allow Wisconsin’s student loan borrowers to deduct student loan payments from their income tax. According to Senator Chris Larson, this aspect of the bill could result in an annual tax savings of approximately $172 for the typical borrower, or as much as $392 for some people.

“According to recent studies, there are 753,000 Wisconsin residents with an average student loan debt of $22,400,” Larson says. The more money spent on student loans and interest, the more money not put back into the state’s economy on cars, new houses, and other purchases.

The bill will provide students and parents with detailed information about student loans and the best and worst private lenders. The Bill will ensure that students receive loan counseling to make informed financial decisions about student loans.

This bill also releases data collected about student loan debt in Wisconsin to help the public and policymakers better understand the depths of the debt crisis in the state.