State Rep. Ben Frederick voted for legislation to improve financial reporting to college students on their current federal student loan status, calling growing school debts “a state and national crisis.”
“We have students facing decisions which can mean tremendous risk and financial strain upon graduation,” said Frederick, chair of the House Workforce and Talent Development Committee. “Students cannot get rid of their loans through bankruptcy. The loans follow these students indefinitely, which can mean decades of crushing debt and a lower quality of life. In many cases, this tragedy could be avoided through the most basic of disclosures about the loans in advance.”
The legislation calls for students to receive estimates of monthly repayment amounts based on current projections, access to student loan counseling services available through each college, and information on employment opportunities available in a student’s chosen course of study.
Estimated national student debt has reached $1.4 trillion, with average loans at Michigan universities increasing by approximately $10,000 over the past 10 years. Sixty-three percent of Michigan students graduate carrying debt.
“The trends are deeply concerning as the student debt crisis cripples our young professionals,” said Frederick, of Owosso. “It is long past time for this vital information to be made available to students in a consistent way across our state.”
House Bill 5071 has advanced to the Senate for consideration.