- Democratic Rep. Summer Lee has more than $200,000 in student loans from college and law school.
- She told an insider that she was unable to reduce her balance due to increased interest.
- He said millions of borrowers will soon have to adjust their lives to pay new monthly bills.
Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Summer Lee has more than $200,000 in student loans.
This is the result of an education she received at both Pennsylvania State University and Howard University School of Law, from which she graduated in 2009 and 2015 respectively. In an insider interview, Lee said that as a first-generation college student, taking advantage of her student loans was the only option for her to get her education and advance her career. So she did just that.
“When I was 17 and in college, I had a single mother who had just been laid off. It was really important,” Lee said.
“Either I had this debt or I didn’t get this education. I missed this education opportunity,” she continued. “For me, at 17, it seemed like a no-brainer. It seemed like a natural progression into a career field, but that’s not always the case.”
But even though Lee has consistently paid off outstanding balances since becoming a Pennsylvania legislator in 2018, interest rates on loans have skyrocketed, making it difficult for many borrowers to repay the principal. “It will never go down,” he said. balance.
And a payment moratorium, first introduced by former President Donald Trump in March 2020, that has allowed her and millions of other federal borrowers to defer payments for the past three years, It is expected to end in September, Lee said.teeth expected to be higher than her mortgage.
She said she knew she was never alone in this matter. “The reality is that millions of borrowers are slipping back into debt slavery,” she said.
“People who might have bought a home will have to delay it and those who would have started a family will have to think again now,” she continued. “From doctors to lawyers to teachers to social workers, those who don’t pursue their passions or get the positions we need are being held accountable for how they behave. It’s deterrent when you see it.” It’s hard for college graduates to survive and contribute to the community. ”
At the end of June, the Supreme Court reversed President Joe Biden’s sweeping plan to cancel up to $20,000 in student loans to federal borrowers. Shortly after, the education ministry announced new plans to use separate legislation to enact relief, but it won’t be ready in time for payments to resume. To give borrowers more relief, the ministry announced a 12-month “increase” period after payments resumed in October, during which no payment defaults would be reported to credit agencies. Still, interest accrues in the interim, so borrowers have to decide how to handle the new monthly bills.
“There is no end in sight,” Lee said. “They will have to adjust their lives or postpone them to understand the burden they never had to carry in the first place.”
“I need a plan from C to Z.”
Biden’s Plan A for student loan relief was the Heroes Act of 2003, which gave the Secretary of Education the power to forgive or change student loan balances in connection with national emergencies like COVID-19. Biden announces Plan B after Supreme Court ruling, as Supreme Court ruled Biden had exceeded his powers by using the Act to give relief to borrowers as a result of the pandemic did. In other words, Mr. Biden is using the Higher Education Act of 1965, which imposes no obligations. call for a national emergency.
Still, given the constant legal challenges of student loan bailouts, Lee said additional safeguards needed to be put in place, adding: “Of course, we have the expectation that some bailouts will be forthcoming. , I think we need to start preparing.We need a plan C to Z.”
Over the past few weeks, many of Biden’s targeted debt relief policies for borrowers who have income-based repayment plans or who claim they were swindled out of the school they attended have met conservative legal objections. has been blocked by An education ministry spokesman said it was “neither backing nor backing down when it comes to protecting working families,” but some borrowers have previously said the uncertainty has hit them financially. told an insider.
Republican lawmakers have been critical of the bailout and have introduced legislation to block its implementation, but Mr. Lee said he would continue to push for debt forgiveness to reach borrowers who are starting to repay.
“Given who our government has bailed out in the past, an industry that has taken advantage of consumers and taken advantage of the communities that have been bailed out. “I think it sends the wrong message that they’re not worth protecting and not worth helping,” Lee said.