Many of us know how hard it can be to keep up with student loans. With national student loan debt soaring over one trillion dollars, this issue has become a crisis for those wishing to purchase a home or start a family. Student loan refinancing is a critically important public policy challenge, and we now have the chance to implement a program that could allow teachers, nurses, attorneys and others to save thousands of dollars each year.

Many of our local business leaders, including Julie Verratti – Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Denizens Brewing Company in Silver Spring – have  a unique experience with student loan debt. According to Julie,  having the ability to refinance loans at lower rates may have helped free up  more cash to start her business. We need to make it easier for our young entrepreneurs to thrive.

Last week, the Montgomery County Delegation in Annapolis unanimously supported the creation of a Montgomery County Student Loan Refinancing Authority (bill MC 27-16). Enacting this legislation would mean that Montgomery County could provide student loan refinancing for residents that would substantially reduce the financial burden on our young people and working-families, free up funds that will be reinvested in our economy, and improve our county’s regional competitiveness to attract new talent. We all want to lessen the economic burden on our neighbors and provide incentives for young workers to live in Montgomery County, as well as encourage businesses to start and grow here.

The House version of the bill (HB1079) will have a public Ways & Means Committee hearing on March 7th at 1:00 p.m. Please contact your local officials and ask them to support HB1079!