Following last week’s report showing that Ohio students who graduate with student loans hold an average debt of nearly $30,000, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will outline a plan that would help Americans saddled with costly, private student loans refinance to more affordable options. During a news conference call today, Brown discussed how his bill would help individuals reduce their student loan debt by refinancing at no cost to taxpayers. Brown was joined on the call by Lynsay Spratlen, a Summit County resident and graduate of Ashland University, who was forced to rely on private student loans which have hampered her career prospects and housing options. [...]
"The burden of the 'debt for diploma' system makes it harder for students to get ahead as they struggle to repay their loans. Student debt also negatively impacts the overall economy, as those with high levels of debt often must delay home purchases, pay higher mortgage rates and put off retirement savings; actions which ultimately lead, through a ripple effect, to a considerable wealth loss over a lifetime," says Robert Hiltonsmith, Demos Policy Analyst and author of a series of upcoming Demos reports quantifying the cumulative wealth effects of private and public student loans. "Private student lending is particularly problematic because these high-interest, adjustable, market-determined loans are more likely to be borrowed by economically disadvantaged students and those attending for-profit institutions. And at an average interest rate of 10%, more than double the federal rate, many of these students need relief to avoid having these loans torpedo their financial futures."