GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Student Loan Refinancing Task Force visits Green Bay to discuss student debt

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A roundtable discussion at the Brown County Central Library Wednesday morning revolved around the growing issue of student debt.

“It’s a very complex system,” Kathy Blumfeld, Secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions told Local 5 ahead of the discussion, “and so a lot of people are trying to figure out how to make the best financial decision for their life today.”

Blumenfeld is referring to the decision to invest in higher education, “whether it’s technical college, whether it’s going into the trades, whether it’s a four or two-year degree, so people want to get ahead and they know that’s a really good investment.”

But it’s an investment that has lead to a national financial crisis, to the tune of $1.5 trillion.

In Wisconsin, student debt currently stands at $24 billion, which is why the task force has taken its discussions across the state.

The Green Bay roundtable is the last of four. Milwaukee, Wausau, and La Crosse were all visited prior to Wednesday’s discussion in Titletown.

According to Blumenfeld, the task force has heard about the impact of student debt on the people of Wisconsin.

“People are delaying either getting married, being able to buy a car, being able to buy a house, really contributing to our economy because of this large student loan debt that they’ve grappled with,” she said.

The task force will take the information gathered at the four roundtable discussions and look for solutions.

“We’ll really roll up our sleeves and we’ll look at what’s happening in other states and best practices, get creative in what we can do here in Wisconsin to solve the problems,” Blumenfeld said.

The task force is set to provide their recommendations to Governor Tony Evers by October 1st, 2020.

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