2013-01-24 / Front Page

Info on student loans mandated

Legislation sponsored by state Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. and Sen. Robert Singer to assure that New Jersey families understand student loan rates, schedules, debt and defaults was recently signed into law by Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

“The price of college and complexity of student loans impose short- and long-term stresses on families,” said Kean (R-Union). “It is paramount that our schools educate students and families about the immediate and future costs of collegiate investments to help them choose the right school and career path.”

According to a press release, in 2010, student debt exceeded credit card debt for the first time. In 2011, student debt surpassed auto loans. Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reported that student debt had passed $1 trillion. Kean and Singer’s legislation requires the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to annually publish online and distribute to public and nonpublic high schools information about various student loan options and examples of repayment schedules based on current interest rates. High schools are required to annually distribute this report to 11th- and 12th-graders.

“The average New Jersey student who graduates from a four-year public or private institution graduates with $23,792 in debt,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “In many cases, it takes a village of support, including relatives and friends, for a student to afford that liability.

“The stranglehold loans can have on alumni struggling to leave their parents’ houses to start their professional lives can be physically and emotionally crippling,” the senator said.

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