Student loan debt is a huge problem for Americans. About 40 million Americans have student loans and 70 percent of Americans with a bachelor’s degree graduated with debt. The current combined outstanding U.S. student debt is $1.3 trillion.
Although Trump proposed debt forgiveness after 15 years and capping student loan payments at 12.5 percent of the borrower’s income, many Americans fear that he won’t deliver.
In a recent study about how Trump policy would affect student debt, borrowers were asked what they would most like to see and what they thought they would see. Although 44.3 percent of borrowers said they would like to see debt forgiven after 15 years, about 80 percent of people surveyed said they thought Trump would have a negative effect on their student loan debt or no effect whatsoever.
For Georgians, the problem of student loan debt is magnified. Georgia borrowers owe an average of $30,443, leading the nation in student loan debt. Georgia’s unemployment rate is above the national average and rose to 5.4 percent in December.
In this economic climate, Georgians (as well as many Americans) are unable to afford their staggering student loan payments, much less think about buying a house or starting a family. Graduates today owe more money than their parents or older siblings’ generations and unless we change America’s course how we deal with student loans and skyrocketing tuition, graduates’ debt will continue to snowball.
Getting student loan debt under control is critical for American families and the economy at large. The issue must be thoughtfully addressed by both Georgia lawmakers, President Trump and Congress. Without a change, borrowers will be smothered.