Provided that Congress is liable for creating the legal guidelines and insurance policies surrounding pupil mortgage debt, we questioned – how a lot pupil mortgage debt do members of Congress even have?
Since they’re presupposed to be “representatives” of the nation – can members of Congress really relate to the struggles of thousands and thousands of pupil mortgage debtors on this nation?
Scholar mortgage debt (and better training coverage typically) is complicated, nuanced, and has numerous transferring elements. Until you have lived by borrowing to pay for school and navigating compensation after faculty, it is practically unattainable to narrate.
So, we spent the previous couple of months going by the newest monetary disclosures for each member of Congress, and we’re what we came upon.
Scholar Mortgage Debt Statistics
Let’s begin by placing some context into the present pupil mortgage debt disaster.
Right here is the place pupil mortgage debt at present stands. There are 45 million Individuals with roughly $1.7 trillion in pupil mortgage debt. In accordance with the US Census, there are at present about 332,400,000 folks in the US, so meaning 13.5% of all Individuals have pupil mortgage debt at present.
Nevertheless, if you would like a greater metric, there are 258,000,000 adults in the US (since you will not have pupil loans for those who’re below 18). So, meaning 17.4% of adults in the US have pupil mortgage debt at present.
Listed below are another statistics to contemplate:
- Common pupil mortgage debt: $39,351
- Median pupil mortgage debt: $19,281
- Common pupil mortgage month-to-month cost: $393
- Median month-to-month cost on pupil mortgage debt: $222
- Proportion of debtors with rising mortgage balances: 47.5%
- Proportion of debtors who’re greater than 90 days delinquent: 4.67%
- Common debt load for 2021 graduates: $30,600 (see the common pupil debt by graduating class right here)
It is also vital to keep in mind that pupil mortgage funds have been paused since March 2020. However complete pupil mortgage balances are rising as a result of annually new faculty college students are coming into faculty or ending faculty and including to the overall mortgage stability.
Let’s have a look at how this compares with Congress.
General View Of Scholar Mortgage Debt In Congress
In analyzing the newest monetary disclosure statements for all members of Congress, we discovered that:
- 44 members within the Home of Representatives have pupil loans of their family (this contains each loans they individually borrowed and loans they might be co-signers for his or her kids on)
- Of the 44, ten of the Representatives’ spouses had pupil loans
- 3 members within the Senate have pupil loans, with considered one of them belonging to their partner
While you begin evaluating Congress to the American inhabitants as a complete, the variety of Congressmen with pupil loans is a below-average illustration of America.
- Solely 10.1% of the Home of Representatives has pupil mortgage debt, vs. 13.5% of Individuals
- Solely 3% of the Senate has pupil mortgage debt, vs. 13.5% of Individuals
It does seem that the median quantity of pupil mortgage debt reported by Congress does align (and really skews somewhat greater) than the common American – with 24 members of Congress reporting between $15,001 and $50,000 in pupil mortgage debt of their family. This is what members of Congress reported as their stability of pupil loans by way of their monetary disclosure statements:
Necessary Observe: Solely balances above $10,000 are reported. There could also be extra members with balances beneath this quantity.
Throughout our analysis, we additionally found that six Representatives had paid off or eradicated their pupil mortgage debt since their 2019 monetary disclosure. These members are:
- Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29)
- Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN-7)
- Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10)
- Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA-17)
- Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)
- Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA-36)
Let’s break it down by every chamber of Congress.
Which Members Of The Home Of Representatives Have Scholar Mortgage Debt?
Within the Home of Representatives, 44 out of 435 members have pupil loans of their households. Of this, the one pupil loans for 10 members belonged to their partner.
This represents 10.1% of Home members having pupil loans of their family.
The median quantity of pupil mortgage debt reported by members within the Home is $15,001 to $50,000. It is vital to notice that many members who’ve borrowed pupil loans pursued some superior levels. It is also vital to keep in mind that a “common” Home member’s wage is at present $174,000 per 12 months (although they seemingly have greater bills than most Individuals as nicely).
Lastly, I am certain somebody will need the partisan breakdown, so right here you go:
- 26 Democrats have pupil loans
- 18 Republicans have pupil loans
This is a full breakdown of who has pupil loans within the Home of Representatives, together with some notes about who the scholar mortgage could also be for (similar to a partner, or a co-signed mortgage for a kid).
The common age of a pupil mortgage borrower within the Home of Representatives is 50, and on common they’ve two kids. Age and youngsters could be a good perception as as to if the scholar mortgage is their very own, or whether or not the mortgage is for his or her kids. Some members of Congress disclose this on their statements, however many don’t, so we wished to incorporate it.
Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA-44)
Co-Signer for Non-public Loans
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12)
Co-Signer for Non-public Loans
Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA-2)
Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24)
Rep. John Carter (R-TX-31)
Co-Signer for Non-public Loans
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11)
Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS-3)
Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY-19)
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL-19)
Each Rep & Partner Loans
Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16)
Each Rep & Partner, and Cosigner for Non-public Loans
Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN-7)
Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI-5)
Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY-2)
Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME-2)
Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34)
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ-5)
Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT-5)
Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY-17)
Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS-1)
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18)
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23)
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA-4)
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-7)
Rep. Joseph Neguse (D-CO-2)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14)
Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT-4)
Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI)
Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ-6)
Rep. Jason T. Smith (R-MO-8)
Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA-11)
Co-Signer for Non-public Loans
Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL-9)
Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ-9)
Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL-17)
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13)
Rep. Nikema Williams (D-GA-5)
You may search the Home Monetary Disclosures right here.
Home Schooling and Labor Committee
The Home Schooling and Labor Committee is the group inside the bigger Home of Representatives liable for spearheading greater training laws, together with any probabilities to pupil mortgage coverage. That is the group that might debate the Increased Schooling Act re-authorization (which is the umbrella for many monetary assist and pupil mortgage insurance policies).
It is at present composed of 53 members – 29 Democrats and 24 Republics.
Of these 53 members, solely 6 members (11.3%) have pupil mortgage debt. 3 Democrats and three Republicans on the committee have pupil loans.
That implies that the massive majority of individuals making greater training coverage shouldn’t have pupil loans.
Which Members Of The Senate Have Scholar Mortgage Debt?
Solely 3 out of 100 Senators have pupil loans of their households. Of this, one of many Senator’s solely reviews pupil loans for his or her partner.
This represents simply 3% of the Senate having pupil mortgage debt of their family.
All three Senators who reported pupil loans of their households reported between $15,001-$50,000 in pupil mortgage debt. Once more, every Senator receives an annual wage of $174,000 per 12 months.
From a partisanship perspective, all three Senators with pupil mortgage debt are Democrats.
This is a full breakdown of who has pupil loans within the Senate, together with some notes about who the scholar mortgage could also be for (similar to a partner, or a co-signed mortgage for a kid).
Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-CT)
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
You may search the Senate Monetary Disclosures right here.
Senate Committee on Well being, Schooling, Labor, and Pensions
The Senate Committee on Well being, Schooling, Labor, and Pensions is the group liable for spearheading greater training laws within the Senate. That is the companion of the group within the Home that might additionally oversee greater training subjects.
It is at present composed of twenty-two members – 11 Democrats and 11 Republics. That represents 4.5% of the committee.
Of these 22 members, just one member (Sen. Christopher S. Murphy) has pupil mortgage debt.
What Does This Imply For Coverage?
I feel it is fascinating to see what number of members of Congress have pupil loans, what balances they’ve, and who’s loans they might have as a result of it provides you an concept of whether or not “does this particular person relate to my scenario”.
Once we’re having coverage discussions on reforming pupil loans, pupil mortgage forgiveness, monetary assist, and extra, it is vital to grasp if these in energy and making coverage even absolutely perceive the entire state of affairs – the maths and the psychology.
That is to not say that individuals who haven’t got pupil loans or wanted monetary assist cannot relate – however once we’re electing folks to signify us, they need to signify us – who we’re, what we’re. The Home of Representatives is a a lot nearer illustration, with 10.1% of members having pupil loans, and a pupil mortgage stability near the common.
Nevertheless, the Senate is basically skewed, with solely 3 members (or 3%) having pupil loans. To not point out that the median age within the Senate is 68 years outdated – meaning the final time they needed to make selections round monetary assist, paying for school, or pupil loans personally was within the early Nineteen Seventies…
As we proceed to ask our representatives to repair the upper training and pupil mortgage system, we additionally have to hold this relate-ability in thoughts – and possibly elect representatives that higher mirror our circumstances.