ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on Congress to allow college graduates to refinance their student loan debt to get the same interest rates now offered to current students.
The New York Democrat is co-sponsor legislation that would let students and former students who took out a student loan before 2013 refinance their debt to get an interest rate of 3.86 percent. That’s the same rate now offered to new borrowers.
“If you have a mortgage in New York state at a high interest rate, the law allows you to refinance,” Schumer said during a news conference in Greenwich Village. “But since student loans are governed by the federal government, the federal government does not allow you to refinance.”
Schumer said the legislation would save 2.5 million New Yorkers an estimated $12.5 billion over the life of their loans. The legislation would apply to both public and private student loans.
The average student loan debt in New York is $30,000. Some loan rates are as high as 14 percent, Schumer said.
“I am currently about a little over $29,000 in debt with the the 6.9 percent interest rate,” Mercedes, at St. John’s University alum, told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.
Mercedes said that college debt is having an impact on her entire family, especially her brother.
“He is a junior in college right now, and college is probably not going to be a possibility for him,” she said.
Tiffany Brown, who has tens of thousands of dollars in debt after graduating from Queens College, said the legislation would give her more options.
“It will also make the decision for me to possibly go to law school much easier,” Brown said.
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