While more than half of the Congress members are millionaires whose net worth has been increasing steadily over the last few years, there is one problem many of them share with common citizens of the United States – they have colossal student loan debt. College education has became a favorite topic of presidential candidates as well, as many people are affected by the huge costs of paying for a higher education.
One in every ten members of Congress is personally familiar with the difficulties of student loans. Some owe student debts themselves, and some have family members who struggle to pay off student loans. If we add up Congress and Senate members student loans, we get a sum between $1.5 to $4 million dollars. This is a small fraction of the total national student loan debt of 1.2 trillion dollars, but still shows that all streams of society are affected by it.
If we take into consideration that individuals with student debt owe between thirty and seventy thousand dollars, we will see that more than 30 million US citizens have at least one student loan left to pay. Congress has around 70 loans all together, with nine members having more than one loan to pay. For a second year in a row, the number of Congress members affected by student loan has increased.
Some of the prominent Senators who owe student loan debts are Sen. Mike Lee from Utah, who owes between $10,000 and $15,000 to the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority, Junior Senator Chris Murphy, who owes anywhere near $15,000 and $50,000, and Cory Gardner from Colorado, who has debts that range up to $50,000. As for Congressmen, Representatives John Carter and Grace Men, both owe somewhere near $200,000.
Numerous people have trouble the debt they drag with themselves for years after college. Fresh graduates find their enthusiasm quickly shattered once they realize that the first thing that awaits them after graduation is a huge debt. To make matters worse, people sometimes lose their Social Security benefits if they are not paying federal debts on time. This is problematic because a huge number of senior citizens and disabled people simply cannot work and rely on earned Social Security benefits to maintain a normal standard of living.
Debts do not influence only the poor or working class; it is highly present among the country’s leadership too. They too strive to get out from under student loans in order to help build for future generations of their family. In order to regulate this problem several congressmen led a discussion in the House of Representatives concerning student debt management. Several congressmen pointed out that Social Security benefits are earned, and that denying them to people who are unable to pay student or any other federal loans is a bad move.
Several experts spoke about income-share agreements that will greatly benefit both students and employers in the future. It would work by bringing investors to the students and they would relieve their tuition prices and have a firmer guarantee about future employment.
Others put out the idea of a federal student loan refinancing program, allowing student debtors to convert their loans to a lower rate loan. Currently, the consolidation os student loans is offered through the federal government, but the technical service of refinancing student loans is only offered by private banks and lenders.
All in all, the student debt issue is a highly problematic area which needs further updating and tweaking, and the fact that members of the Senate and Congress deal with student loan programs themselves might prove to be a factor which helps the resolutions come even faster.