Brown: Students are 'struggling' under college debt

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) called on Congress to help college students who now have more than $1 trillion in debt.

“Education has always provided Americans the opportunity for a middle-class life and financial security,” Brown said Monday. “But an entire American generation is struggling with the weight of student loan debt, unable to start businesses, purchase homes, and contribute to their families and communities.”

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Brown said the Know Before You Owe Private Student Loan Act — from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) — would aims to make student loan language less confusing.

“For our country to continue growing, we have to ensure that student loan debt doesn’t keep future generations from pursuing higher education,” Brown said. “Prospective and current students deserve clear information as they take on student debt. And graduates with private loan debt should have the opportunity to refinance their debt so they can focus more on using their education rather than paying for it.”

Brown also called for passage of his Refinancing Education Funding to Invest (REFI) for the Future Act, which would allow graduates to refinance private student loans, which often have higher interest rates than federal loans.

Student loan debt in the United States is now more than $1.2 trillion, and the average debt for a college graduate this year is $30,000.