It’s Not Just You, 10% Members of Congress Are Still Paying Back Student Loans
Over 44 million Americans collectively hold an estimated $1.5 trillion worth of student debt and virtually none are immune to this problem which also includes fragments of the Congress. The 115th Congress is reputed to be the wealthiest of all time but Roll Call, a newspaper that covers the Congressional sessions, has discovered that approximately 10% of Congress members are also in the throes of student debt either by themselves or for a member of their family.
From the 530 polling members of the Congress, 431 are from the House of Representatives along with 99 senators, approximately 53 members have listed student loans in their financial disclosures worth $1.8 million. 28 out of the 53 members have a positive net worth and the rest are in the negative.
For example, the representative from California, Ro Khanna has provided a figure of $50,000 as student loans when he has a net worth of over $27 million primarily because of his significant tech investments and the vast family wealth of his wife. Khanna states that he has been fortunate and blessed in his life to be in a position where the loans aren’t crippling. He has also mentioned that a number of people do not have a similar opportunity.
Darren Soto, the representative from Florida, is among the 25 representatives who, according to the methodology adopted by Roll Call for creating the report “Wealth of Congress”, has an adverse net worth. He still has an outstanding loan of $75,000 and mentions that he understands the responsibility of making a repayment. He attributes his success to the education he received by attending a top law school which he claims was essential. A representative for the Congressman, has maintained that he has a positive net worth despite the outstanding loan balance.
Are Members Of the Congress Justifying Their Positions By Holding Student Loans?
Much as been spoken about how much Congress members are taking home every year and the figure is by no means a paltry one. These individuals are getting paid an estimated $176,000 per annum and therefore paying off their student loans shouldn’t have been an issue. This is particularly the case with the members who have a positive net worth.
Figures are available to show that about 25 representatives with student loans including Soto and Khanna are Democrats and the remaining 28 are Republicans. 16 members of the Congress with student loans are first-timers, but age undoubtedly isn’t the primary reason why these individuals still hold debts.
Several representatives have taken student loans to support family members and one congressman representing the Republicans is published as owing larger student loans when compared to other lawmakers in the Senate. Trey Gowdy has more than $150,000 in student loans which he obtained to finance the education of his child.
Student Indebtedness Is a Fact of Life In America
It is becoming increasingly common to hold significant amounts of student debt in life in America. Presently nearly 70% of students passing out of college are graduating with significant student loans. Research conducted suggests that most of the borrowers expect to be debt-free by the time they are in their 40s.
Former President Barack Obama has spoken earlier about how he, along with the former first lady, were still paying student loans until they were well into their 40s. They had both graduated from college and law school with a significant amount of debt and despite finding good jobs they barely finished paying it off before he was elected as a member of the U.S. Senate.
All Student Loans an Essential Equipment In America?
Considering the high cost of education in America and the fact that the average American is unable to finance his or her education with other means, student loans have become an essential requirement. The easy availability of the funds needed by students is allowing a significant number of American students to obtain the qualifications they need to succeed in life.
Average Americans opting for student loans and thereafter, joining the workforce may perhaps be able to justify the length of time they need to pay off the debts. Most Americans are not paid the princely wages received by Congress members and also need to take on additional debt for other requirements such as homes, vehicles, Etc. They may have a difficult time balancing their finances but it certainly wouldn’t be the same as an individual who has a net worth of millions but is still holding on to his or her student debt.
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