Summer Lee Doubles Down on Fight For Students & Borrowers With Payments Set to Resume in October

Aug 15, 2023
Press

**For immediate release**

 Contact: Emilia.rowland@mail.house.gov (330) 212-2065

Summer Lee Doubles Down on Fight For Students & Borrowers With Payments Set to Resume in October

Pittsburgh, PA – As a first-generation college student and a lawmaker carrying over $200,000 in student debt, Congresswoman Summer Lee (PA-12) sat down with Insider’s Ayelet Sheffey for a profile on the student debt crisis and the reality for 44 million Americans with student debt who who may have to postpone buying homes, starting families, or buying groceries due to payments – in Lee’s case more expensive than her mortgage payment – resuming in October following the Supreme Court’s July ruling.

Insider: A Democratic lawmaker with over $200,000 in student debt says millions of borrowers will soon have to ‘postpone their lives’ with payments about to resume

Like so many student debtors, Lee said that her balance “never decreases” due to the surging interest on the loans that makes it difficult for many borrowers to pay down the principal balance.

“When I went to college as a 17-year-old, I had a single mom who had been recently laid off who had no true ability to contribute to my college education, but it was really important that I went and got one,” Lee said.

“I either took this loan debt or I didn’t get this education, I missed this educational opportunity,” she continued. “So as a 17-year-old, that seemed like a no-brainer. It seemed like something that will work itself out once you entered your career field, but that is not necessarily the case.”

Lee said, “People who may have bought homes will now have to delay that, people who would have started families will now have to think again. From doctors, to lawyers, to teachers, to social workers, people who are not going to pursue the passions that they have, or who are not going to fill positions that we need, because they’re going to be deterred by seeing how hard it is for college graduates to survive and to contribute in our communities.”

In the article, Congresswoman Lee also details how surging interest rates on loans make it nearly impossible to move the needle on your balance and despite making consistent payments since she became a member of the Pennsylvania state legislature in 2018, Lee said that her balance never even decreases.

Lee added, “When we consider who our government has bailed out in the past – industries that have taken advantage of consumers and have taken advantage of our communities who have received bailouts – and we would look back and tell students that they’re not worth protecting, that they’re not worth helping, I think that is a wrong message to send.” 

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