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"Congress would work far more effectively if every congressman took the approach of U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney" New London Day, 10/31/2012
"Courtney has shown himself to be a dedicated public servant and tireless worker committed to serving the needs of Eastern Connecticut" Norwich Bulletin, 10/28/2012
"Courtney is a bright, energetic and hard-working member of Congress who has earned another term." Hartford Courant, 10/25/2012



A bill intended to allow borrowers to refinance their student loans got a push last week from its sponsor, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District.

“Student debt has risen astronomically in recent years, burdening young adults with hefty monthly payments as soon as they begin their careers,” Courtney said in a release. “This massive debt — which exceeds $1.3 trillion nationwide — hampers our economic recovery by preventing young people from buying homes, starting businesses, and saving for retirement,” Courtney said.”

The bill, H.R. 1434, called “the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act,” would allow student loan debt to be refinanced for lower rates and to reduce monthly payments. Undergraduate loan issued before July 1, 2015, could be refinanced to a 3.8 percent annual interest rate; graduate loans could get a rate of 5.4 percent and parent loans, withdrawn for a child’s education, could get a rate of 6.4 percent.

Courtney’s release, citing the Congressional Budget Office, said that some $460 billion worth of loans, about half of the outstanding loan volume for federal student loans, would be refinanced under this bill.

An event last week announcing the bill included Courtney, Real Estate professionals and Evan Preston, state director of consumer advocate group ConnPIRG.

“With Connecticut’s student debt burden standing at the sixth highest in the nation, providing refinancing to student borrowers and their families is an urgently needed common-sense step to strengthen consumer protections,” Preston said.

“In Connecticut, where our housing market recovery is critical to boosting economic growth, I hear almost every day from constituents struggling with student debt. My bill would provide immediate relief for more than 309,000 borrowers in Connecticut, reducing monthly payments and reducing pressure on family budgets. A college-educated workforce is critical for our economy, and we must act to ensure that students can afford to earn a college degree,” Courtney said.

The bill has more than 100 cosponsors in the House, and was co-introduced in the Senate by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.