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Student Loan Grace Period Extension Act

Rep. Janice Hahn

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Mr. Speaker, this recession has left virtually no one untouched. Students that are graduating from college are finding not only a hostile job market, but many carry with them an overwhelming amount of debt. If we are going to get our economy back on track, we need to make sure those young people are given a fighting chance.

The unemployment rate for new college graduates in many fields is higher than the national average and they currently have to begin repayment on their loans a short 6 months after they graduate. The class of 2010 faced an unemployment rate for new college graduates of 9.1 percent, the highest in recent years.

That is why I am introducing the ``Student Loan Grace Period Extension Act'' which will extend the grace period for Federal Subsidized and Federal Unsubsidized Student Loans from 6 months to 12 months after the student graduates. This bill will provide students with a necessary window after graduation where they can conduct their job search without the financial constraint of monthly student loan payments after 6 short months. Given the recent recession and our slow economic recovery, it only makes sense to give those young people just entering the work force a fighting chance to find a job and start earning before they begin repaying their loan obligations.

By passing this bill, we will ensure that our college graduates are not prematurely burdened with student loan payments before many of them may be able to find gainful employment in their field.