Last year, you and I fought to lower the interest rate on new federally subsidized student loans.
During that fight, I also heard from a lot of young people being crushed by their old student loans. They did everything we told them to do: They worked hard, got good grades, went to college and learned new skills — and now are drowning in debt.
The numbers prove it. More than a third of borrowers under the age of 30 have been delinquent on their student loan payments for more than 90 days. Think about that.
Tying students to a lifetime of financial servitude as a condition of getting an education? That doesn’t reflect our values.
In the coming weeks, I’ll introduce new legislation to allow eligible borrowers with high interest student loans to refinance at new rates that are at least as low as those now being offered to new borrowers in the federal student loan program — putting real money back into the pockets of young people who worked hard to get an education.
We know from the last student loan fight that we have an uphill battle ahead of us — and I’m going to need your help, and the help of tens of thousands of people all across the country, to make the case for why this is so important.
The idea is pretty simple. When interest rates are low, homeowners can refinance their mortgages. Big corporations can swap more expensive debt for cheaper debt. Even state and local governments have refinanced their debts.
Letting recent graduates refinance their student loans puts real money back in the pockets of middle class families. Real money that will help young people find a little more financial stability as they work to build their futures. Real money that says America invests in those who work to get an education.
Real money for people like you, your kids or your grandkids.
Refinancing student loans won’t fix everything that’s broken in the higher education system — but for many of our graduates, it is an important step forward.