A letter by Chelsea Sipes, of Salix, “Turn focus to issue of student loans,” was selected by the editorial board as the best of those that appeared during the week of June 2-8.

Her letter was published June 5.

Sipes wrote that with the 2020 presidential race looming, attention needs to be placed on the student loan crisis.

She pointed out that, as of 2018, there are 44.2 million students who had borrowed federal student loans. She wrote that this makes up $1.52 trillion in debt, and many students have a minimum 6.8 percent interest rate on their loans.

“I don’t believe that our government understands the magnitude of what my generation is going through,” she wrote. 

“My generation, the millennials (1981-1996), were the generation that were told to go to college to get a good job. We went, we’re unable to get jobs in our fields, we aren’t being paid what we are worth for our degrees, and we’re in debt.”

She added that presidential candidates such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is pushing the Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow students to refinance their loans to 4 percent, need to continue pressing forward. 

“This refinancing is necessary for my generation,” she wrote. “But, forcing loan companies to allow students to pay directly on the principal is crucial as well.

“We are unable to pay directly to the principal balance and all monthly payments go to the interest. If there is any money left over from the payment, it will be distributed to the principal, which keeps us in a state of debt and inability to pay off loans. This needs to change for the health of future generations and our economy.”

Note: Selection of the letter of the week is based on writing competency and the ability of the writer to get his or her point across. It is not based on whether the editorial board agrees with the writer’s stance.

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