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PA student loan bill to help students

Rep. Michael O’Brien proposing a bill to cut interest debt

4/16/2015
By: Andrew P. Robinson

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Representative Michael O’Brien (D),175th district, has proposed a bill to help reduce student loan debt after graduation.

“I have two kids that are 28 and 32 and as I talk with their friends, I keep hearing a recurring theme about how they are drowning in debt so we need to take some steps to help mitigate this debt,” Rep. O’brien said.

O’Brien is doing his part to help. He’s proposed House Bill No. 607. The bill calls for students to claim a $2,500 tax credit per year for the life of student loans.

“It’s not a big chunk, but it’s a step along the way and gives folks a little breathing room,” he said.

The bill provides tax credit to single filers making up to $75,000 per year or couples making up to $155,000.

“Pennsylvania has a large system of state education, the PASHEE system. While it tends to be a bargain, it tends to be more expensive than universities in other states,” O’Brien said.

On average, students accumulate annual debt of $18,000 to $24,000. Pennsylvanians rank third in the nation for carrying student debt. The average debt at graduation is $31,500.

A recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, shows student loans trail mortgages for second in debt incurred by consumers nationwide.

If enacted, the bill will go into effect in 60 days and will apply to students at public and private universities in Pennsylvania. To show support for the bill, contact your local legislator.

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