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Lawmakers debate over student loans and bankruptcy

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 4:53 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - For a number of college students, student loan debt can make it feel like you’re being penalized for going to college. On average, the cost keeps going up.

A decade ago, student debt topped $1 trillion. It’s now at $1.7 trillion.

As Creighton University undergrads get ready for the fall season in a couple of weeks, UNO the following week, congress is examining what, if anything, should be done about the growing levels of student debt. The only household debt larger than student loans is mortgages.

This morning in our nation’s capital, Diane Barta, who earned her degrees in applied sciences in Georgia, told lawmakers she still has $120,000 in outstanding student loans. When her husband lost his plumbing job, she filed for bankruptcy.

“I cried when I did it. I didn’t have any other options. Then I found out from my lawyer, I couldn’t include my student loan debt,” said Barta.

Other lawmakers fear it will become a pass for everyone who gets student loans, knowing they can just file bankruptcy and cancel the debt, and it will ultimately hurt taxpayers who are on the hook for the federal debt.

Other lawmakers suggest a better way to fix the student loan crisis to make colleges and universities accountable for the rising cost of higher education and make them part of the solution.

The average borrower graduates college with $35,000 in debt.

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