Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has helped to reintroduce the bipartisan Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculating Act, House Resolution 1899, to address the ballooning student loan debt crisis in America.
The legislation, if passed, would allow students to refinance their student loan interest rates, lower future student loan interest rates, eliminate origination fees on student loans, delay student loan interest rate accrual for low-income and middle-class borrowers while they are pursuing their education, and allow for borrowers in medical or dental residencies to defer payments until the completion of their program, the congressman’s office said.
The total student loan debt in America has reached $1.5 trillion, and over $875 billion of it is held by the federal government at interest rates of up to 6.84 percent. That percentage far exceeds the market rate for most government loans. A recent press release from the congressman asserts that student loan debt affects more than 40 million Americans.
“We need to revolutionize American education and job training so we’re preparing students for a 21st-century job market. That means, among other things, reducing barriers to educational opportunities and post-graduation success,” said Fitzpatrick, a Republican. “For too many, student loan debt is a crippling burden that impacts their involvement in our economy and achieving personal goals like owning a home, starting a family and supporting their community. This bipartisan legislation is a step toward addressing this crisis.”
Jean Rash, Chair of the Higher Education Loan Coalition, urged support for the legislation.
“By refinancing student loan rates for past borrowers and recalculating rates for future borrowers, this bipartisan bill would establish fairer and market-driven loan terms for all borrowers. Additionally, delaying student loan interest rate accrual for low-income families will ensure financial support to those students who need it the most. Students and families also would benefit immensely from the bill’s elimination of origination fees. We believe such changes will have a real and lasting impact on helping make college more affordable,” Rash said.
The legislation has been referred to the Education and Labor Committee in the House of Representatives.