Sen. Clausen Bill to Reduce Student Loan Debt a Reality
ST. PAUL, MINN – State Senator Greg Clausen (DFL-Apple Valley) announced today that the SELF Refi program, which allows college students to refinance their student loans at lower interest rates, is available to qualifying Minnesota students.
As chief author of the legislation, Senator Clausen encourages Minnesota students to go online at www.selfrefi.state.mn.us to see if they are eligible to refinance their student loans from interest rates as high as 10 or 12 percent to as low as 3 percent through the Office of Higher Education (OHE).
In June of 2014, the Economist reported U.S. student loan debt exceeded $1.2 trillion, with more than seven million debtors in default. According to a new report from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, Minnesota ranks fifth in the United States for student debt, with an average median debtload of $27,296.
“The SELF Refi program can provide significant savings and is one way the state can help mitigate these troubling statistics,” Sen. Clausen said. “This program not only allows students to refinance their high interest rate loans to a lower interest rates, but provides a viable and attainable path to paying off student loan debt.”
Currently, the SELF Refi rates are as follows for fixed interest rates:
· 5-year at 4.5 percent, 10-year at 5.75 percent, and 15-year at 6.96 percent
Variable interest rates, which are subject to change quarterly are currently:
· 5-year at 3 percent, 10-year at 3.65 percent, and 15-year at 4.35 percent
Students can borrow up to $70,000 with a Bachelor or graduate degree and $25,000 with a certificate, diploma, or associates degree. “I’m proud of the work Minnesota has done to address the growing concern of student loan debt and trying to make higher education more affordable to students,” Sen. Clausen said. “But there is more work to be done. We must do more to encourage students to take advantage of programs such as College in the Schools and PSEO, and continue our work with higher education institutions to bring the cost of college down.”