Durbin: 1.7 Million Illinoisans Have Outstanding Student Loan Debt



[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate Floor today to discuss America’s exploding student loan debt crisis and efforts that are underway to help working families better manage their student loan debt and ensure basic protections for new students.

“Why are we talking about student loans? Ask working families and ask their kids why we are walking about it. There is more student loan debt in America today than there is credit card debt. It’s huge and it’s growing,” Durbin said. “Nationally, there are more than 40 million borrowers that have totaled over a trillion dollars in debt.”

Recently, Durbin visited Loyola University in Chicago and Augustana College in Rock Island to talk to current and former students about their student debt. Last week, he joined Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), and others in introducing the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates currently offered to new borrowers. Durbin, Warren, and Reed have been working together on efforts to build broad support in the Senate for legislative action to reduce new student loan debt and make it easier for millions of working families to manage the student loan debt they already have. 


Earlier this year, Durbin, Warren, and Reed introduced the Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights Act and the Protect Student Borrowers Act of 2013.  The Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights Act would ensure struggling student loan borrowers are treated fairly and understand the full range of repayment options and resources available to them. The Protect Student Borrowers Act of 2013 would help make institutions of higher education more accountable for student indebtedness by requiring institutions to assume some of the risk of a student loan default.


Video of Durbin’s remarks will be available shortly here.


Audio of Durbin’s remarks is available here.