State officials say Wisconsin residents' student loan debt has topped $24 billion

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin residents have more than $24 billion in student loan debt, and the government is taking action to address the issue.

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski is leading the Student Loan Refinancing Task Force.

The group is touring the state and holding round table discussions to talk about ways to address the state's student loan problem.

Godlewski says things like addressing interest rates, building public-private partnerships and consumer protection issues may be ways to help the problem.

She adds that student loans create a major financial burden on individuals, but that it has a larger effect on the state too.

"That precludes them from buying a home, buying a car, from actually participating in the Wisconsin economy," Godlewski said. "What we need to think about is what's the impact on the economy if we don't address this problem. Because I'll be honest, the longer we wait, the worse the impact is going to be, not just on Wisconsinites individually, but overall our family and the health of our economy here."

Godlewski and the other members of the task force will be in Milwaukee Tuesday afternoon for the second round table discussion. That will be at the Washington Park branch of the Milwaukee Public Library from 2-3:30 p.m.

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