Pocan Introduces Bill to Help Low-Income Households Pay Off Student Loan Debt
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, today introduced the Student Loan Interest Deduction Fairness Act, H.R. 5508. This bill would help low-income households who have made payments on their loans access greater equity in receiving the Student Loan Interest Deduction currently available to borrowers.
“Student loan debt is disproportionally affecting low-income households – burdening them with financial adversity and weighing down our economy,” said Rep. Mark Pocan. “This bill will fix an inequity in our tax code and help these families, which hold 58 percent of all student debt, pay off their crushing levels of student loan debt.”
Today, the average student graduates with around $29, 400 in loans, but 58% of all student debt is held by families in the bottom 25% of household incomes. Nationally, student debt tops 1.2 trillion.
The Student Loan Interest Deduction Fairness Act is supported by Supported by the American Council on Education, Association of Public-Land Grant Universities, Equal Justice Works and One Wisconsin Now. Rep. Pocan is also the sponsor of several bills targeted at addressing the student loan debt crisis including the Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act, H.R. 4622, and the Relief for Underwater Student Borrowers Act, H.R. 5239.
Today, the average student graduates with around $29, 400 in loans. 58% of all student debt is held by families in the bottom 25% of household incomes. Nationally, student debt tops 1.2 trillion. Given the extent of the student debt crisis, it is essential we give borrowers who have been crushed by student debt the opportunity to contribute productively to our economy.
Under the tax code, individuals are able to receive up to a $2,500 tax deduction for interest paid on student loans, but when a couple is married and files jointly, they are subject to this inequity and the couple can only receive a maximum $2,500 as opposed to before the marriage when each person could file and each receive up to $2,500.
The Student Loan Interest Deduction Fairness Act, H.R. 5508, would allow married couples to access up to the full $5,000 benefit, which would have been available to individuals prior to marriage.