Our Opinion: High student debt is a major economic issue


In a potentially landmark court ruling, a Massachusetts man will have a chance to get out from under crushing college loan debts. While that is good news, the fundamental problem must be solved.

A federal appeals court has urged a bankruptcy judge to consider a settlement allowing Robert Murphy of Duxbury to erase the roughly $250,000 he owes on student loans he borrowed to send his three children to college. According to The Boston Globe, Mr. Murphy lost his $165,000 a year position as president of a Canton manufacturing company when it moved overseas in 2002 and has been unemployed since. The US Educational Credit Management Corporation, which has been fighting Mr. Murphy's efforts to get his debts discharged for four years, now says it will agree to a settlement.

Overwhelming student debt is a major problem in this country. It has been a major issue in the Democratic presidential primary, with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton promising to let borrowers refinance student loans at lower rates. Senator Sanders proposes going further and making tuition free at all state colleges and universities. Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have ignored the issue while John Kasich has addressed keeping future tuition costs down but has not taken on student debt specifically.

When it comes to the role of the millennial generation (Eagle editorial, April 15), high student debt will prevent many young people from buying cars and homes and fueling the local economy. (Mr. Murphy's three children are carrying $150,000 in student debt outside of the $250,000 their father borrowed.) Student debt is a major problem in the US, one that goes beyond the students to the overall health of the economy.


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