Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Tim Johnson held a hearing on the issues post-secondary students face regarding private student loans, loan servicing, loan debt collection, and campus banking.
Johnson invited Kenneth Kocer of Mount Marty College in Yankton to testify before the Banking Committee. Kocer is the President of the South Dakota Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and Director of Financial Assistance for Mount Marty College.
Kocer said the federal student loan program is their financial backbone.
Kocer said most students need additional funding from other sources.
Kocer said they believe it would be helpful for students if their school was involved in the loan process.
In recent years, student loan debt has increased significantly with more than $1.2 trillion currently outstanding. It is the second largest debt of U.S. households, following mortgages; and South Dakota has a higher percentage of students graduating with debt than any other state in our country, at nearly 8 in 10 students.
The hearing focused on the effects of the rising student loan debt on borrowers and the broader implications for the nation’s economy, and on ways that student loan servicing could better help students manage their debt.