Sen. Jeff Klein, center, has helped created a student loan relief program to help NY borrowers better repay debt.
The New York State Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) is looking to help student loan borrowers by lobbying to include a student debt relief plan in the upcoming budget, which must be finalized by March 31st, according to the Daily News.
The focus of the plan created by the IDC would let residents make pre-tax deposits into accounts that would be used solely towards the repayment of student loan debt. Employers that match their employees’ contributions would also qualify for a state tax deduction on each contribution. Furthermore, borrowers with a minimum of $10,000 in debt would be eligible to refinance, with the eligible amount capped at $70,000.
"Paying off supersized loans makes starting a life in this state difficult and often results in crippled credit for many of our young people," Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein, leader of the 8-person conference, said.
The IDC believes this program would reduce state tax revenue by $135.5 million each year.
New York graduates from the Class of 2015, owed an average of $19,317 in student loan debt—about $2,400 higher than the national average of $16,929.
Student loan debt has taken center stage for many in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo recently unveiled a plan that would give full-time New York students whose families earn less than $125,000 a year free tuition to attend two or four-year colleges in the State University of New York or City University of New York systems. If approved, the program could start as early as this fall.
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