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Senator backs bill to lower student debt burden

WASHINGTON DC – While New York graduates are saddled with an estimated $60 billion in student loan debt, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) is continuing her push for legislation that would help tens of millions of graduates refinance their federal student loans. National student loan debt is now approximately $1.2 trillion, surpassing auto loan and credit card debt, and New Yorker's hold a sky-high average of more than $27,000 per graduate.

Senator Gillibrand’s proposal to allow graduates to refinance their loans at a lower interest rate just like businesses and homeowners are doing on a daily basis was included in the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act legislation introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) last week. 

Gillibrand said lowering the interest rate to 3.86 percent on undergraduate loans would put $10,000 per student, on average, back into the economy

“And if a student had 10,000 extra dollars, they could start that small business, or put a down payment on a home, or, you know, start a family,” the Senator said, during a telephone news conference.

“Student debt is taking a toll on our economy, and borrowers are struggling to get by,” said Anne Johnson, Executive Director of Generation Progress. “The ability to refinance student loans would give borrowers a fair shot in this economy.”