Missouri State Assembly
45th Assembly District
For Immediate Release
January 28, 2016
Contact: Rep. Kip Kendrick
Rep. Kendrick Announces Student Debt Relief Act
JEFFERSON CITY—Today, State Representative Kip Kendrick (D-Columbia) filed the Student Debt Relief Act in the Missouri House of Representatives. The bill will allow Missouri college graduates the opportunity to refinance burdensome student loans.
More than 900,000 Missourians carry student loan debt, with an average of over $26,500 owed. Nationally, nearly 40 million Americans collectively hold more than $1.3 trillion in student debt. This consumer debt is second only to home mortgage debt.
“Missouri must take action to reduce the burden of student debt,” said Rep. Kendrick. “I am offering this bill because of the first-hand accounts I have heard about the real concerns of growing student debt and how it affects middle-class families. Student debt, with no relief, threatens the disposable income of a generation, negatively affecting our entire state economy.”
The Student Debt Relief Act will help hard working graduates who often struggle to make monthly payments by providing them the opportunity to consolidate student loans, reduce interest rates, extend the repayment period, and cap monthly payments to a reasonable portion of discretionary income.
“The current repayment structure puts an unnecessary burden on many Missouri residents,” said Rep. Kendrick. “It forces students to pay the bulk of the debt when earnings are lowest and job security is least. My bill is a common-sense solution that will provide relief to hundreds of thousands of Missourians. It is a needed solution in response to a growing problem with statewide impact.”
Kaitlin Steen, Executive Director of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM), considers the bill a positive step in solving the student debt dilemma.
“We appreciate Representative Kendrick taking the lead on this issue. Student debt impacts former, current, and future University students. Failing to address this problem will only push borrowers further in the hole, creating a crisis for our future leaders and our state,” said Steen.
Laura Satkowski, Director of State Affairs of the Graduate Professional Council (GPC) at the University of Missouri, confirms that the bill will assist graduate students as well as undergraduates.
“Graduate students understand what massive debt and high interest rates will mean for their future plans. Refinancing into lower rates and lowering monthly payments will have a real impact on this generation of professionals,” said Satkowski.
Rep. Kendrick will hold a joint press conference with participating student organizations – Associated Students of the University of Missouri, Graduate Professional Council, and Missouri Student Association on Monday, Feb. 1 at 10am in the Student Center on the University of Missouri campus.
Interested administrators, faculty, staff, students, citizens, and media are invited to attend to understand the problems addressed by and the provisions covered by the bill.