Student Loan Debt
New graduates are burdened with high interest student loans and large monthly payments that make it extremely difficult for them to start families, buy homes, explore entrepreneurial interests or even save for their own retirement. As the Iowa State University Foundation has acknowledged, recent graduates of Iowa’s own Regent institutions leave school with some of the highest student debt levels in the nation.
Kim believes that student loan debt may well be a prime contributor to our nation’s next financial crisis. When people entering the workforce have their income tied up with student loan payments, our economy as a whole suffers. Finding solutions to ease this financial strain would benefit everyone.
To address this issue, Kim proposes the following measures:
- Create a national volunteer program that would allow those with debt to exchange volunteer time for student loan debt relief.
- Allow graduates to lower interest rates on students loans to the lowest federal level or completely eliminate them.
- Overhaul the current standard that qualifies as an “undue hardship” and allows students to discharge their student loan debt or successfully file for bankruptcy.
When it comes to higher education, we can and must do better. In many cases, tuition costs are keeping students from obtaining a college degree, and many of those who have earned a college degree are unable to participate in society in the meaningful and beneficial ways that generations before were able to. Whether it’s major investments like buying a house or starting a business or small, everyday purchases with disposable income, more and more young people are unable to contribute because of overwhelming student debt.
Every generation hopes to leave something better for the next one--If we hope to succeed in achieving this goal, we must provide young people with opportunities to participate in the economy at every level. This isn’t going to happen by accident. We must make affordable higher education and lowering student loan rates a top priority.