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State task force on student loan debt holds listening session in Wausau

WAUSAU (WAOW) — The Student Loan Refinancing Task Force met with Central Wisconsin residents on Tuesday to discuss issues they’ve faced when trying to pay back student loans. According to the task force, there is $24 billion dollars of student loan debt here in Wisconsin.

Many of the roundtable contributors were still paying off students loans years after graduating.

One woman who shared her story was in her 70’s. When she graduated from UW Madison with a Masters degree her student loan debt was $77,000, now it’s $134,000.

That growing debt was common for many people at the roundtable who said they’re only able to make payments on interest and not the loan itself.

Now they’re worried about their kids going off to college.

“One of the things that really stands out to me is the multi-generational nature of the student debt crisis,” said Kathy Blumenfeld, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions Secretary-Designee.

Blumenfeld is on the task force along with Wisconsin State Treasure Sarah Godlweski and Wisconsin Higher Education Aids Board Executive Secretary Connie Hutchison.

The listening session was the fourth stop for the task force, and they have one more stop in Green Bay. After listening to resident across the state, the members will come back together to make recommendations on dealing with the student loan debt crisis to Governor Tony Evers. Those recommendations are to be submitted by October of 2020.

Sarah McGrew

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