U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) introduced legislation in the House designed to tackle the student debt crisis, his office announced Friday.
The Pay Down, Upskill Act would direct the U.S. Department of Education to provide a one-time credit of $10,000 toward undergraduate student loan debt, or to be used as a credit toward the pursuit of additional education or workforce training.
“Student loans are supposed to help people reach their career goals,” Lamb said. “Instead, it has burdened too many borrowers with unsustainable amounts of debt, while the cost of higher education is increasingly out of reach for too many. This bill will help reduce student debt loads while at the same time helping more Americans access the education that leads to good jobs.”
The credits would be available to American adults making less than $75,000, based on the criteria established for COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments (EIP). For students interested in pursuing additional education or training, the credit could be used at public and non-profit higher education institutions, as well as for certain certificate programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Lamb said studies have shown that people struggling with student loan debt are less likely to buy homes, start families or save for retirement than their debt-free peers.
The legislation is endorsed by Third Way.