How A lot Scholar Mortgage Debt Do Members Of Congress Have?


Provided that Congress is chargeable for creating the legal guidelines and insurance policies surrounding pupil mortgage debt, we puzzled – how a lot pupil mortgage debt do members of Congress even have?

Since they’re alleged to be “representatives” of the nation – can members of Congress truly relate to the struggles of hundreds of thousands of pupil mortgage debtors on this nation?

Scholar mortgage debt (and better training coverage normally) is advanced, nuanced, and has plenty of shifting components. Except you’ve got lived by means of borrowing to pay for faculty and navigating compensation after faculty, it is almost not possible to narrate.

So, we spent the previous couple of months going by means of the newest monetary disclosures for each member of Congress, and we’re what we discovered.

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 the moment stands. There are 45 million People with roughly $1.7 trillion in pupil mortgage debt. In keeping with the US Census, there are at the moment about 332,400,000 individuals in america, so meaning 13.5% of all People have pupil mortgage debt at the moment. 

Nonetheless, in order for you a greater metric, there are 258,000,000 adults in america (since you will not have pupil loans in case you’re underneath 18). So, meaning 17.4% of adults in america have pupil mortgage debt at the moment.

Listed below are another statistics to think about:

  • 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 necessary to keep in mind that pupil mortgage funds have been paused since March 2020. However whole pupil mortgage balances are rising as a result of annually new faculty college students are coming into faculty or ending college and including to the whole mortgage stability.

Let’s examine how this compares with Congress.

Total 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 consists of each loans they individually borrowed and loans they could be co-signers for his or her youngsters on)
  • Of the 44, ten of the Representatives’ spouses had pupil loans
  • 3 members within the Senate have pupil loans, with one among them belonging to their partner

If you begin evaluating Congress to the American inhabitants as an entire, 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 People
  • Solely 3% of the Senate has pupil mortgage debt, vs. 13.5% of People

It does seem that the median quantity of pupil mortgage debt reported by Congress does align (and really skews a bit greater) than the typical American – with 24 members of Congress reporting between $15,001 and $50,000 in pupil mortgage debt of their family. Here is what members of Congress reported as their stability of pupil loans through their monetary disclosure statements:

Essential Be aware: 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:

  1. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29)
  2. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN-7)
  3. Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10)
  4. Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA-17)
  5. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)
  6. 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.

House of Representatives Student Loan Debt

The median quantity of pupil mortgage debt reported by members within the Home is $15,001 to $50,000. It is necessary to notice that many members who’ve borrowed pupil loans pursued some superior levels. It is also necessary to keep in mind that a “common” Home member’s wage is at the moment $174,000 per yr (although they doubtless have greater bills than most People as effectively).

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

Here is a full breakdown of who has pupil loans within the Home of Representatives, together with some notes about who the coed mortgage could also be for (equivalent 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 youngsters. Age and kids is usually a good perception as as to if the coed mortgage is their very own, or whether or not the mortgage is for his or her youngsters. Some members of Congress disclose this on their statements, however many don’t, so we needed to incorporate it.

Rep. Nanette Barragan (D-CA-44)

Co-Signer for Personal Loans

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12)

Co-Signer for Personal Loans

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA-2)

Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24)

Rep. John Carter (R-TX-31)

Co-Signer for Personal 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 Personal 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 Personal 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 possibly can 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 chargeable for spearheading greater training laws, together with any probabilities to pupil mortgage coverage. That is the group that may debate the Greater Schooling Act re-authorization (which is the umbrella for many monetary support and pupil mortgage insurance policies).

It is at the moment 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 signifies 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 stories pupil loans for his or her partner.

This represents simply 3% of the Senate having pupil mortgage debt of their family.

Senators with Student Loan Debt

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 yr.

From a partisanship perspective, all three Senators with pupil mortgage debt are Democrats.

Here is a full breakdown of who has pupil loans within the Senate, together with some notes about who the coed mortgage could also be for (equivalent to a partner, or a co-signed mortgage for a kid).

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy (D-CT)

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)

You possibly can 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 chargeable for spearheading greater training laws within the Senate. That is the accomplice of the group within the Home that may additionally oversee greater training subjects.

It is at the moment 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 could have as a result of it offers 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 support, and extra, it is necessary to grasp if these in energy and making coverage even totally perceive the entire state of affairs – the mathematics and the psychology.

That is to not say that individuals who do not have pupil loans or wanted monetary support cannot relate – however after we’re electing individuals to characterize us, they need to characterize 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 typical.

Nonetheless, the Senate is admittedly 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 choices round monetary support, paying for faculty, 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 must maintain this relate-ability in thoughts – and perhaps elect representatives that higher replicate our circumstances.


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