As it stands, student loan debt has become a huge problem with the average borrower staring at over $28,000 in debt. The nation collectively owes more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, preventing scores of people from buying homes, starting families, and saving for retirement. While this can be seen on the national scale, not all Congressional Districts face the same problems. Some congressional districts around the country have student debt that is well below the national average.
The state of California may be home to some of the most expensive colleges in the country, but when it comes to student loan debt, new research from LendEDU shows that three of the state’s districts leave students with very little debt, on average.
Take California District 19 for starters. Lead by Democrat Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the district’s average student loan debt for recent graduates sits at just $10,881. Lofgren is a big supporter for the expansion of the Pell Grant program. She backs low student loan interest rates and Federal student loan refinancing (meaning she wants student loan refinancing to be offered by the federal government as opposed to solely the private sector) among other things. Lofgren hasn’t been that outspoken about student loan debt; maybe her priorities pull her attention elsewhere, given the low debt in her district.
LendEDU reached out to Rep. Lofgren for a comment, but no response has been received.
Coming in second is a Republican from California, Rep. David. G. Valadao of District 21. Borrowers in his district owe an average of $11,679. Surprisingly, he has only supported one of the six major student debt reforms that have circulated through Congress in recent years: low student loan interest rates.
Coming in third is Rep. Mike Quigley, the Democrat from Illinois’ District 5. His district has an average student loan debt of $15,713. The Democrat supported all six of the recent major college affordability initiatives and contends “education is one of the most important issues facing our country.”
California’s Rep. Karen Bass of District 37 is a big supporter of reducing student loan debt which may be why her district has a low student loan debt average of $15,838. The lawmaker supports low student loan interest rates, Pell Grants, the refinancing of federal student loans, student loan forgiveness, and tax benefits for borrowers.
Rounding out the five districts with the lowest student loan debt is Texas District 15, led by newly appointed Democrat Rep. Vincente Gonzalez. Gonzalez inherited a low average student loan debt of $16,169 for his constituents, and as a new member of the House, he has an opportunity to help reduce student loan debt around the nation as his predecessors did for District 15.
The five other districts that have the lowest student debt in the nation include California District 23, led by Democrat Rep. Kevin McCarthy, with an average debt of $16,901; Georgia District 9, lead by Republican Rep. Doug Collins, representing an average student debt of $16,963; Utah’s District 3, lead by Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, with $17,363 in average student debt; Utah’s District 1, led by Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, with $18,811 in average student debt; and California’s District 9, represented by Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney, with an average student loan debt of $18,619.
Author: Dave Rathmanner
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