One Wisconsin Now
Press Release

New Poll Finds Overwhelming, Bipartisan Support Among Wisconsin Voters for Allowing Student Loan Refinancing

Republicans Blocking Legislation ‘On the Wrong Side on the Policy and the Politics’

By - Oct 26th, 2017 12:19 pm
Money and Student Debt. Image by Paul Ritz.

Money and Student Debt. Image by Paul Ritz.

MADISON, Wis. — Yet another poll of Wisconsin voters finds broad support for allowing student loan borrowers to refinance their loans. According to a survey of 1,116 registered Wisconsin voters conducted by Public Policy Polling on October 16 and 17 an overwhelming 79 percent supported “a plan to allow student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage.” A mere 9 percent were opposed.

“Allowing student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can with a mortgage is a common sense policy solution that’s also good politics,” commented One Wisconsin Now Program Director Analiese Eicher. “In a state as politically divided as Wisconsin there are precious few issues on which nearly four out of five voters agree and student loan debt refinancing is one.”

The poll found support for allowing the refinancing of student loans is strong across partisan lines with 85 percent of those identifying as Democrats, 70 percent of Republicans and 82 percent of independents favoring the proposal. Among those who reported voting for Donald Trump, support was at 73 percent while 85 percent of voters who supported Hillary Clinton were in favor.

There were similar findings of strong support among gender and age demographics with 79 percent of men and women supporting student loan refinancing, 74 percent of voters age 18-29, 71 percent of voters age 30-45, 87 percent of voters age 45-65 and 77 percent of voters age 65 plus.

Eicher noted that student loan debt is also widely felt in Wisconsin, the state consistently ranks in the top ten states in the nation for the percentage of graduates with debt and according to figures from the federal government there are nearly one million borrowers holding over $19 billion in federal student loan debt alone. The economic impacts of the debt are also broadly felt. For example, One Wisconsin Institute original research found student loan debt significantly reduced rates of homeownership and new car purchases among borrowers.

In 2013, 2015 and again in 2017, state legislation to help borrowers refinance their student loans was introduced in both the Wisconsin state Senate and Assembly. Republicans in control of both chambers, along with Gov. Scott Walker, blocked consideration of the measures in past sessions and to date.

At the federal level, Democrats in the Wisconsin Congressional delegation have been leaders on student loan debt reform, introducing and supporting legislation to allow borrowers to refinance their federal student loans with the federal government. Unfortunately, Republican Speaker Paul Ryan has blocked consideration of a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives and Republican Ron Johnson has voted against the proposal in the U.S. Senate.

Eicher concluded, “It appears the people are way ahead of the Republican politicians currently in Madison and Washington D.C. on student loan debt reform. Those standing in the way of common sense reform are on the wrong side on the policy and the politics.”

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Mentioned in This Press Release


Recent Press Releases by One Wisconsin Now

How “Boss” Robin Vos Does Business: Self-Dealing Edition

Millionaire Landlord Uses Legislative Power to Rewrite State Law to His Advantage

One Wisconsin Now

Republicans Protect Special State Tax Loopholes at Request of Big Business Lobby

Corporations and Wealthy to Get $361 Million Windfall, Including Breaks on Spending for Food, Drinks and Salaries for Millionaires

Would Republican Legislative Leaders Rather Break the Law Than Work With Democrats?

Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald Publicly Ponder Illegal Maneuver to Pass Party-Line Budget

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us