Spotlight: Student Loan Debt

“We have to figure out how to make it so that young people can go to school and get an education so that they can advance in life – not so that they can be pulled back because of debt,” - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum, 2015

Education Debt

Most students in Oregon rely partially on student loans to help pay for their education. In fact, the numbers can be staggering. In Oregon, 63 percent of students in the class of 2015 graduated with debt, averaging $27,697 per borrower.

With student debt numbers this large, it is easy to understand how student loans can easily turn into the obligation of a lifetime. Over the past decade, people over the age of 60 had the fastest growing educational loan balances of any age group, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York ». The total amount grew by more than nine times, from $6 billion in 2004 to $58 billion in 2014. Faced with a lifetime of crushing debt, these borrowers often delay the major purchases that drive growth, like houses or automobiles.

Fortunately, Attorneys General play an important role in protecting students, loan co-signers, and former students from misleading and deceptive student loan practices. In 2017, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law Attorney General Rosenblum’s bill requiring Oregon colleges and universities to send students annual, easy-to-understand letters explaining the scope of their federal educational debt, including the amount of loans taken out, and what the potential total payment over the life of the loan could be.

Attorney General Rosenblum is helping to ensure that students and their families make wise and informed choices when taking on educational debt. And, when the time comes for a student to pay it back, Attorney General Rosenblum wants to make sure the student is fully employed and prepared to repay the loans on a schedule that works for everyone.

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