EMERYVILLE, Calif., August 7, 2018 – When it comes to those running for office, student loan debt is no longer simply a challenge for voters — it is a personal and financial challenge for politicians. In California, seven of the candidates running for Congress this year owe at least $10,000. That means that about one of every six politicians campaigning for office understands in highly personal terms what it means to owe student loan debt. Additionally, according to the Mercury News, seven members of the state’s legislature, all voted into office in the last six years, are still saddled with student loan debt, while three others have taken out student loans for their children. Though California is the fifth-biggest economy in the world and this is a relatively small number of politicians, it is still significant that a growing number of representatives face the same challenges as millions of other Americans who carry $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), a document preparation company that assists its clients in completing applications for federal student loan repayment plans, understands the challenges faced by politicians and voters from all political points of view.
“Student loan debt is a national crisis that impacts more than 44 million borrowers,” said Sarah Molina, manager at AFBC. “At AFBC, our main goal is to ease the suffering of our clients who are buried by student loan debt, but it is encouraging when politicians understand this burden. Hopefully, they will work diligently to find solutions for troubled borrowers.”
In the California state legislature, Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, owes nearly $100,000 and has been renting a home because student loan debt has put buying one out of the question. He has introduced legislation such as double tax deductions for student loan interest and forgiving more debt for graduates who go into public service. He must often explain to older colleagues that college is not the same now as it was when these older politicians went to school. For example, tuition in the University of California system costs 20 times more than in 1975, while median income has risen less than six times, from $11,800 in 1975 to $59,039 in 2016.
At AFBC, our main goal is to ease the suffering of our clients who are buried by student loan debt, but it is encouraging when politicians understand this burden.
Manager at AFBC
And though only two of the six Congressional candidates from California with student loan debt made it through their primaries, one of them is Andrew Janz who advocates lowering the cost of college and forgiving student loan debt.
This trend in California, of course, plays out nationally. Of the 530 members of Congress, 53 either had student debt or took on debt for a family member. Those members of Congress owe $1.8 million in debt, and nearly half of them have negative net worth. Congressional student loan debt is also bi-partisan. Of the 53 members of Congress who carry student loan debt, 28 are Republican and 25 are Democratic. As AFBC clients and as an increasing number of members of Congress and state legislatures know, though solutions may vary, the student loan debt crisis cuts across political viewpoints, delaying home ownership, marriage and having children.
“It feels good to know that our clients are less isolated from their representatives,” said Molina. “Politicians now have personal experience with student loans and, like us, should work tirelessly every day to provide solutions to those overwhelmed by student loan debt.”
About American Financial Benefits Center
American Financial Benefits Center is a document preparation company that helps clients apply for federal student loan repayment plans that fit their personal financial and student loan situation. Through its strict customer service guidelines, the company strives for the highest levels of honesty and integrity.
Each AFBC telephone representative has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
To learn more about American Financial Benefits Center, please contact:
American Financial Benefits Center
1900 Powell Street #600
Emeryville, CA 94608
Source: American Financial Benefits Center
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