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U.S. Rep. Dingell discusses student loan debt solutions

Apr 9, 2015

Cynthia and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell in our studio.

Struggling to repay student loans is something that unites many of us. Across the country, almost 40 million people are trying to repay $1.3 trillion in student loan debt.

Here in Michigan, 1.5 million people are trying to erase more than $39 billion in debt.

Earlier today, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, was on the campus of the University of Michigan, where she hosted a roundtable on college affordability.

Dingell is one of the sponsors of a bill in the House called the "Bank on Students Emergency Loan Reinforcement Act."

The bill would allow students to refinance their current student loan debt.

"You can refinance your home loan, you can refinance your auto loan, but you can't refinance your student loan right now," says Dingell.

According to Dingell, the average student loan debt for an undergraduate student is $30,000. This new bill would save them $4,000.

But this is only one small part of a larger problem.

In her talks with students, Dingell says they have given her many other ideas, including teaching financial literacy in high school.

"Many of them get these loans and don't understand what the loans or their grants are there to cover," she says.

With so many suffering from student loan debt, Dingell says she thinks this isn't a partisan issue and hopes that her fellow members of Congress will support it. Elizabeth Warren introduced the bill previously, but it never passed through the Senate.

"I'm hoping that we can get something like this through the House and the Senate. I'm going to work very hard to try to do that," Dingell says.