NEWVILLE, Wis – State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and Rep. Don Vruwink (D-Milton) held a forum in Edgerton Wednesday for community members and local business owners to express their concerns about the impact that looming student loan debt is having on Wisconsin.

The Milton Area Chamber of Commerce and Forward Janesville hosted the event at Culver’s in Newville over the lunch hour, bringing Godlewski and Vruwink in to discuss strategies to help borrowers refinance at lower interest rates. By building public-private partnerships, Wisconsin businesses can address issues of recruitment and retention by helping employees get out of debt faster.

Wisconsin has a $24.4 billion student loan debt problem, according to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Another report by The Institute for College Access and Success shows Wisconsin ranks 13th in average debt when looking at a graduate from the class of 2018. With over 70% of students graduating with debt of nearly $30,000 on average, Godlewski and Vruwink are looking for ways to help graduates refinance their loans to get out of debt faster.

Since becoming State Treasurer, Godlewski has made issues of economic security a top priority, holding listening sessions around the state to hear personal stories and potential solutions to reducing the burden of student loan debt on Wisconsinites.

“How can we expect Wisconsinites to get ahead when they start from behind with student loan debt at high-interest rates?” said State Treasurer Godlewski. “This is about giving people a chance at financial security while also helping our state’s economy.”

“Helping our young people get out from under student debt will not be an easy undertaking, but we are up to the challenge,” Vruwink said. “I look forward to hearing from people in the communities I represent.”

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