Katie Brazis
May 2017

Student Loan Debt Relief Can Save Local Economies

Have you ever wanted to live in a coastal area with amazing seafood, a rich history, and easy access to mountains and nature-based adventures? Maine might be the state for you, not least because of a student loan debt relief plan recently proposed by state Democrats.

Despite its beauty and history, Maine’s local economies have been experiencing some trouble. Many people are leaving the state in favor of places with higher salaries, but even those staying in Maine are not able to invest in the community as they once could. Not surprisingly, student loans seem to be a major culprit.

Many people with student loan debt may not realize that their debt affects their local economy, not just their own household finances. State economies rely heavily on community members putting money into their community by shopping at local shops and buying real estate. But student loan debt keeps many from doing so.

The perspective is shifting regarding the problems resulting from student loans. Previously, student loan debt was seen as a problem solely between borrower and lender. Now, it encompasses more than just the two parties. Because local and state economies are experiencing negative effects, they are being forced to come up with solutions.

The solution for many states is to help ease the burden of student loan debt on borrowers so they can invest more in their local economies. Among states doing this is Maine, where state Democrats recently proposed a plan that would use $250 million in bonds to pay off half of the student loan debt originated since 2007, including debt from private loans. The remaining debt would be refinanced with a low interest rate (1–2 percent).

If passed, student loan borrowers in Maine would see great relief from their student loan debt. Legislators are also hoping that more people will move to Maine to take advantage of the debt relief and contribute to Maine’s local economies.

The plan still needs to be passed by two-thirds in the house and senate, and it needs voter approval to use the bonds, which is tentatively happening in 2018. It is an exciting start to addressing the negative effects student loan debt has on both the borrowers and their local economies.

Options are available to help

Most people do not realize that there are programs designed to help those who may be struggling with their student loan payments. Thousands of borrowers have trusted Ameritech Financial to be their advocate. Click here to find out what options are available. Our services could help you get back on track.

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Katie Brazis

Katie is a Content Coordinator with a BA in English and a Certificate in Editing and Publishing from CSU, Chico, and a Certificate in Copyediting from UC San Diego Extension. In addition to her professional history in editing, she has a deep love of stories. In her free time — when she’s not trying to tame the wild beast she calls her cat — Katie consumes stories in any form. She reads books and watches shows and movies. She plays cooperative games, both video and board, with her husband and friends. When she chooses to venture outside she keeps her phone handy to catch some virtual Pokemon.

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