(PHILADELPHIA) June 16, 2016 – Today, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown (At Large) introduced a resolution calling for Philadelphia City Council’s Special Committee on Student Loan Debt to investigate ways to lessen the burden of student loan debt upon the citizens of Philadelphia.
Efforts to pass legislation on the federal level to provide for significant savings via refinancing to date have been unsuccessful. Nearly 11.6 percent of student loan balances are at least 90 days delinquent, almost double the level in 2003. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that 1 in 4 student loan borrowers are either in default or struggling to stay current, even though virtually all borrowers with federal student loans are able to make monthly payments indexed to their earnings.
“Student loan debt has become one of the biggest worries and a major barrier for far too many families, furthering the income inequality crisis,” said Reynolds Brown. “It is imperative that we identify opportunities to alleviate the burden for Philadelphia’s students and families.”
As a result of the student loan debt crisis many former students of Philadelphia often cannot start families, purchase homes, or start businesses because all of their disposable income is going to pay student loan debt. Philadelphia’s economy is also adversely affected by the student loan debt crisis. A large number of former students are unable to enjoy their discretionary income, which causes a reduction of expenditures due to a loss of revenue to the varied commercial establishments in the City.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates the current debt outstanding in our country at 1.3 trillion with an estimated 40 million borrowers liable for the debt. On an individual basis, current student debt held by former students nationwide is on average $29,000.00 and wages for the typical recent college graduate working full time have risen just 1.6 percent over the last 25 years.
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Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown serves as the Majority Whip for City Council. More information at www.phlcouncil.com/BlondellReynoldsBrown.