Engaging smart thinkers on issues of the day. Subscribe for newsletter & show notes at chrisriback.com (podcast formerly "Political Wire Conversations")
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Student loan debt is crippling our economy. We've seen an entire generation of students held down by crushing debt. 45 million borrowers are struggling with monthly payments, predatory and aggressive bill collectors and confusing repayment terms. Nationally, student loan debt just behind mortgage debt in the United States. It accounts for a stunning 10 percent of debt balance – that's a total of $1.48 trillion nationwide. According to New York state statistics, the average student loan debt in our state is $30,000. The system is broken, and we have to fix it. If a student is trying to pursue higher education to better themselves and their future, they shouldn't be saddled with loans that take years, and sometimes decades, to repay. Student loan debt doesn't just hurt borrowers. It's holding back our economy on a larger scale. Borrowers are often saddled with so much debt that they can't even begin to think of purchasing their first home, secure an auto loan, or fully participate in the banking system. Many have to delay saving for retirement for years, just to try and find the cash to pay their student loans off. I spoke with Natalia Abrams and Cody Hounanian of Student Debt Crisis, a non-profit group advocating for a better structure for student loans. I originally met Natalia at the founding of Get Money Out over a decade ago. Since then, she's become a leading voice advocating for change in the student loan industry.