Student loan debt becomes personal in Congress

Congressmen are just like us; they have student loan debt too! For the lawmakers that could provide student loan debt relief, many of them still have enormous amounts of debt themselves that they are required to make payments on.  The media buzzed over Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez making a student loan payment during a committee meeting over the student loan crisis, announcing she minimized her debt from a little over $20,000 to $19,000.  

An article from Roll Call named some of the 68 members of Congress with student loan debt, either for themselves, and/or for a dependent, likely their own children.  44 of those members of Congress are Democrats while 24 are Republican. The majority of members (41) owe less than 30K, while some are upwards of 100K.  

Senator Christopher Murphy spoke out about his student loan debt, which he has almost paid off, but now has to focus on helping his children repay their debt. His wife also has student loan debt that she is repaying. Despite the minority of student loan debtors in the House of Representatives, Murphy succinctly stated: ‘“You don’t have to have student loans to understand how crappy it is to have $200,000 in debt.’” Or even $20,000 is an intimidating number for a young college graduate to owe.

With the increasing spotlight placed on the student loan debt crisis and the solutions being proposed in the 2020 Presidential campaigns, elected representatives are more comfortable relating to their constituents by sharing the amount of their personal debt. If not motivated by the 1.5 trillion dollars in debt owned by an estimated 44 million Americans, maybe Congress can push for change to help their personal finances, both for themselves and their families.

Image credit: David Maiolo via Wiki