LOS ANGELES (CNS) - With mandatory student loan payments scheduled to begin again in May for millions of Americans, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez introduced two motions today aimed at helping young Angelenos become more financially literate and navigate student loan debt.
In her motions, Rodriguez noted that more than half of bachelor's degree recipients took out student loans and graduated with an average $28,400 in federal and private debt. A collective $1.75 trillion is owed in student debt in the United States, spread out among 46 million people.
``This system is often predatory and disproportionately impacts college students of color who are the most likely to use federal loans -- saddling them with debts that impact future financial gain,'' Rodriguez said in one of the motions.
Rodriguez's first motion seeks to have the Los Angeles Youth Development Department offer courses and training on college aid and financial management, such as financial literacy and certification, saving and investing and other wealth-building support.
``These trainings and courses could provide a better foundation for personal finance through education on budgeting skills and lessons on student loan borrowing practices,'' that motion stated. ``Creating a youth-centric knowledge base will serve as a useful repository of data that can better prepare youth on the benefits of personal financing.''
If passed by the City Counicl, the motion would instruct the City Administrative Office to work with other city departments on a report with proposed administrative operation, oversight and estimated costs to establish the training and courses.
The second motion aims to provide people who complete the courses with an educational support stipend to help students who have education-related debt.
Rodriguez also introduced a resolution Friday which, if approved by the City Council, would state the city's official support for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program being expanded to include borrowers who previously didn't qualify.
``Student loan debt cuts off the ladder to economic mobility making opportunities like owning a home or becoming financially independent increasingly difficult to obtain. Providing young Angelenos with financial literacy education including college aid is critical to helping them avoid student loan pitfalls,'' said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. ``The Biden administration has made efforts to broaden student loan relief but there are still gaps that need to be addressed so that more young Angelenos can receive assistance.''