HIRONO FIGHTS TO PROTECT STUDENTS FROM DEBT
Joins Colleagues to Introduce Bill To Lower Students Debt
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today to introduce the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates currently offered to new borrowers. Many borrowers with outstanding student loans have interest rates of 6.8 percent or higher for undergraduate loans, while students taking out new undergraduate loans before July 1 will pay a rate of 3.86 percent under the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act passed by Congress last summer. Hirono and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) are among the original cosponsors of Senator Warren’s bill.
“With the rise of college costs over the last two decades, students have increasingly had to rely on federal student loans. Last year more than 20,000 undergraduates in Hawaii used federal loans to pay for school,” said Senator Hirono. “Although new loan borrowers benefit from lower rates, Hawaii students with loans owe more than $23,000 on average. This debt can make it extremely difficult for individuals and families to build a future beyond school, including owning a home, starting a business and pursuing their dreams. The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act will make it easier for these borrowers to refinance their student loans and keep more money in their pockets.”
There are nearly 40 million Americans with outstanding student loans. As of the end of 2012, 11.5 percent of consumers in Hawaii had outstanding student debt, with an average outstanding balance of $23,490 per borrower. In Hawaii, 11.1 percent of student loan balances were delinquent for 90 days or more.
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