U.S. Senator Al Franken pushes to lower student loan interest rates

By KBJR News 1

May 13, 2014 Updated May 13, 2014 at 5:29 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- U.S. Senator Al Franken is pushing to lower student loan interest rates for the millions of graduates across Minnesota and the nation who are burdened by student debt.

Last week Senator Franken helped introduce a bill called the "Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act."

The bill would give people with student loan debt the chance to refinance loans at the same or lower interest rates currently offered to new borrowers.

Senator Franken says too many college students are working more hours than considered healthy during school, which is hurting them in the long run.

"There's research that shows more than 15 hours a week there is a diminution of your performance in school, and then they still graduate with debt, and this has really reached a crisis proportion," said Senator Franken.

The average Minnesota four-year college graduate has more than $31,000 in debt when leaving school... the fourth highest among states across the country.

Senator Franken says he hopes the Refinancing Act will be enacted so students are given a fair shot at an affordable education.