Bill seeks to improve student debt ‘repayment crisis’

State Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, has filed a bill calling for additional measures to help college graduates repay student loans.

The bill, called the “Student Debt Relief Act,” is in response to what Kendrick is calling a “repayment crisis” that puts “unnecessary burden” on many Missouri residents. Kendrick said student debt affects the entire Missouri economy because it prompts an overall decrease in spending, which can be harmful to state businesses.

The bill would grant power to the Department of Higher Education to refinance student loans through consolidation, reducing interest rates, extending repayment periods and creating a cap for monthly payments in proportion to each graduate’s level of discretionary income.

In 2012, 63 percent of Missouri students graduated with an average debt load of about $23,000.

Read more: Columbia Missourian

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