Higher Ed, Lower Debt Petition

Sign our petition in support of the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill.


Over the years, exponential increases in tuition and fees coupled with challenging economic times have made it nearly impossible for students to work their way through school, as was commonplace in the past. In fact, nearly 40 million Americans now hold over $1.2 trillion in student loan debt nationally.


According to the U.S. Federal Reserve System there are 815,000 Wisconsin residents with federal student loan debt (this does not include those with private student loan debt). Further, college tuition costs have doubled over the last 12 years and Wisconsin’s student loan borrowers have an average debt of $22,400. The total student loan debt for Wisconsin residents is $19,304,275,000.


Having this money tied up in debt is a huge drain on our already struggling Wisconsin economy as the money spent on student loans could instead be spent on cars, new homes, and at local businesses in our communities. It is time for innovative, common sense solutions that will provide real relief for Wisconsin's student loan borrowers.


Therefore, we are asking that the Wisconsin State Legislature passes the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill, authored by Senator Dave Hansen and Representative Cory Mason, which would do the following:

• Allow Wisconsin’s student loan borrowers to deduct their student loan payments from their income tax, resulting in annual tax savings of approximately $172 for the typical borrower or as much as $392.
• Enable Wisconsin’s student loan borrowers to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates, putting potentially hundreds of dollars back in their pockets and into Wisconsin’s economy annually.
• Provide students and parents with detailed information about student loans, the best and worst private lenders, and ensure that students receive loan counseling so that Wisconsin’s student loan borrowers can make informed financial decisions about student loans.
• Ensure data is collected and tracked about student loan debt in Wisconsin to help policymakers and the public better understand the depth and breadth of the debt crisis in our state.

As you can see, this legislation offers common sense solutions for real savings on behalf of Wisconsinites managing student loan debt. We encourage legislative Republicans to join us in supporting the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill. Wisconsinites cannot afford to wait any longer for more affordable college education and decreasing their debt burden.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact the authors—Senator Dave Hansen and Representative Cory Mason—at Sen.Hansen@legis.wi.gov and Rep.Mason@legis.wi.gov with any questions you may have on regarding the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill.