Florida student loan defaults rise

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Finding a job is extremely tough, including for those with college degrees. New numbers show more graduates are falling behind and defaulting on student loans.

A Florida lawmaker is pushing a new plan that would wipe out student debt altogether.

Natasha Holbert, of Abacoa, is fortunate her schooling is paid off.  "I have to admit, I probably really haven't started with my children unfortunately."

It has been hard to save for her own children's educations. Her daughter, Shyanne, 14, is bound for college in the next few years.

The economic climate when she went to school was very different from today.

The number of Florida residents buried in college debt and even defaulting on their student loans is skyrocketing.

New figures from the U.S. Department of Education show 10.5% have defaulted, compared to 8.8% nationwide. Few jobs for graduates, mean few ways to pay off student loans.

Miami Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, a Democrat, is one of a dozen co-sponsors of House Resolution 365, calling for forgiveness of the student loan debt of all Americans in order to stimulate the economy.

"This would spur consumer spending, create jobs, and get our economy back on track faster than any large tax break for the wealthy," she said. 

In the Republican-controlled House, the future of that debt forgiveness legislation is very uncertain.

The Department of Education has taken steps to help students with a plan, allowing them to repay loans based on income. Other assistance, students and graduates said, would be appreciated.

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