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Congresswoman Waters Pledge Action on Private Student Loan Debt

May 10, 2013
Press Release

Two senior Democratic lawmakers from the House –  Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Ranking Member on the Financial Services Committee and Congressman George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democrat on the Education and the Workforce Committee– released the following joint statement today after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a report highlighting ways in which student loan debt can have a domino effect on other financial decisions for consumers. For example, the report found that student loan debt can limit graduates' ability to access small business credit and start a business, affect their ability to qualify for  a mortgage and purchase their first home, and may limit the choices they make about their careers and where they choose to live.

"We commend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for their continued research and analysis into the consequences of student loan debt in the economy.  This report increases the mounting evidence that student loan debt is a drag on economic growth and potentially a shackle for many borrowers who struggle with unmanageable monthly payments.  We are committed to closely examining the report's findings and look forward to working with the CFPB, stakeholders and colleagues in Congress to ensure that students who are saddled by unmanageable private education loans have a clear path to financial stability.

"In the meantime, the CFPB's research demonstrates the urgent need for Congress to address the looming interest rate hike on need-based student loans. In this economy, now is not the time to ask students with the greatest need to be burdened by higher loan costs.  As Congress considers various solutions in the days ahead, we must not lose sight of the fact that our actions on the interest rate will directly impact the financial security of these borrowers; their ability to contribute to their local economies; and our nation's economic future as a whole."