By Congressman Scott Peters, 52nd District of California
An affordable higher education for every American willing to work for it is central to ensuring future generations can achieve the American Dream and is directly tied to our nation’s ability to compete in the global economy. I would not have been able to attend college without student loans and work study programs opening the door for me. We should be making it easier and more affordable for students to go to college, not pushing it financially out of reach for more and more families.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank, the average student loan debt burden for students under 30 has grown steadily since 2005. The average debt for a 2014 graduate was $33,000. Student loan debt is preventing a young person from making major purchases like buying a home or new car, or starting a family, all of which is hampering economic growth.
That’s why I introduced the Student Loan Repayment Assistance Act last month. My bill encourages employer-employee matching programs to repay student loans, much like a 401K plan, by creating a tax deduction for student loan payments made as part of a repayment agreement between an employer and employee. Contributions to student loan repayments would not be subject to either income tax or payroll tax. This legislation will help speed up the repayment process so that young people can get their lives started and don’t emerge from college with mountains of crushing loan debt.
If you, or someone you know, are having trouble with a federal agency my San Diego Office may be able to help. Call (858)455-5550 or visit scottpeters.house.gov/services/help-with-a-federal-agency.