Rep. Israel: Student loan debt is next fiscal crisis
Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) was on the campus of SUNY Old Westbury Tuesday to tout legislation aimed to help college students pay off their loans at a lower rate.
The Student Loan Refinancing Act would allow undergraduate students to refinance their loans at an interest rate of 3.86 percent. Israel says those rates could currently be as high at 7 percent.
"That debt is unsustainable...I believe it will be America's next great fiscal crisis," says Israel. "It's going to match the great fiscal meltdown of 2008."
Rep. Israel says about 40 million Americans are currently paying off student loans. He says the amount of student loan debt far surpasses the amount of credit card debt on Long Island and across the country.
"[Student loans] is the second largest volume of consumer debt in the country just behind mortgage debt," says Israel.
Proponents say the cut would be paid for by phasing in a new tax on millionaires. Many Republicans like Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) say they support refinancing for student loans, but do not support it being paid for with a tax increase.