During a hearing on the student loan crisis before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) boasted that two of his children graduated from college with no debt, according to Newsweek.
Though nearly everyone on the committee and panel agreed that the student loan debt situation has risen to the level of “crisis,” Loudermilk and one panel member insisted that it is an issue of personal responsibility.
“[T]wo of my three children graduated four-year college institutions with zero debt and no scholarship they actually worked for it, I couldn't pay for it, they actually worked and paid for their tuition even from some colleges you would recognize,” the Georgia Republican said during the hearing.
Likewise, John Delisle, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said student loan debt affects wealthy families as well as poor families, meaning even those who do not necessarily need to take out loans are doing so anyway.
"Many of the students who take out loans come from high-income families, which should tell us that many of the people who are taking out student loans aren't doing so because they have to. They're making choices, they may be making choices to attend more expensive schools. They may think the government is offering such an incredible deal they can't turn it down," he said.
"We tend to cast student loan debt as this thing that only low-income people are taking and it's this huge burden, but many high-income families are choosing to use it," Delisle added.
But Ashley Harrington of the Center for Responsible Lending noted that for low-income families, taking out loans is not an option: "Yes we do have a large number of high-income individuals taking out student loans but there is a significant number of low-income individuals who have to take out student loans and that's where the issues lies."
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