WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA-15) reintroduced a package of five bills to lessen the burden of student loan debt and make a college education more accessible and affordable to any American who wants one.
“Right now, generations of Americans are struggling under the crushing burden of student debt. They are putting off buying a home, having children, and saving for retirement to pay down their student loans,” Swalwell said. “A college education should come with a lifetime of knowledge and memories, not a lifetime of debt.”
U.S. student loan debt totaled $1.6 trillion as of March 31, according to NerdWallet, with 43 million Americans – one in every eight – carrying some amount of debt. The average U.S. household with student debt owes $57,520.
- The No Student Loan Interest Act would eliminate and forgive all interest charges on existing federal student loans, as well as eliminate all interest charges on future federal student loans by enacting a zero percent interest rate.
- The Strengthening Loan Forgiveness for Public Servants Act would enhance the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which offers student loan forgiveness to teachers, police officers, public health workers and others who dedicate their careers to public service. Borrowers would receive loan forgiveness in proportion to their years of public service. The bicameral legislation, introduced with Senator Blumenthal, would allow borrowers to receive loan forgiveness in proportion to their years of public service.
- The Fairness in Forgiveness Act would let current and former long-time workers at all 16 privately operated Department of Energy National Laboratories seek forgiveness of their federal student loans under the PSLF program.
- The Student Loan Interest Deduction Act would double tax deductions for student loan interest (from $2,500 to $5,000) and eliminate income phase-outs that prevent people who live in high-cost areas from reaping the benefits.
- The STEM K to Career Act would offer federal student loan relief to STEM teachers and provide tax credits to certain employers who work to provide internships or apprenticeships in the STEM field. It also would amend the Federal Work Study program to offer more STEM opportunities.
Swalwell is the founder and former chair of Future Forum, a group of young House Democrats that has engaged with thousands of millennials across the nation on the issues most important to them. Student loan debt consistently ranks high among the concerns of millennials, who now are the largest and most diverse generation in U.S. history.
Press Release by Congressmen Eric Swalwells Office