student loans

Elise Amendola / AP Images

Included in the federal government's array of pandemic relief aid programs is an automatic pause – or forbearance – on federal student loans.

A new study from the credit reporting agency Experian finds that student loan debt in Maine has nearly doubled since 2008.

Mainers are struggling to pay off their student loans, with their debt impacting everything from car purchases to health care.

Student loan debt is leaving borrowers in Maine in financial distress, with many putting off basic needs due to student loan payments. That's according to the results of a new poll from the Maine Center for Economic Policy.

Robbie Feinberg / Maine Public

The average student loan debt for Mainers who graduated from college last year is more than $30,000, one of the highest rates in the country.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Certain Mainers and their employers could more easily receive tax credits for paying off their student loans under a bill.
The Legislature's Taxation Committee will consider Tuesday the proposal backed by Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
LePage has called for student loan debt relief to attract young people to the nation's oldest state.
The bill would create uniform rules for qualifying for the existing Educational Opportunity Tax Credit that critics call too complicated and vastly underused by Maine employers.

Gov. Paul LePage is pushing for the passage of a $50 million bond to subsidize student loans.

LePage says the goal of the measure is to keep young Mainers in the state after they complete college and also to attract young adults from other states to work in Maine.

“And this should not be and is not a partisan issue,” the governor says. “We are requesting a $50 million bond to help lower the debt load for Maine students as well as refinance the student debt for graduates who move to Maine from other parts of the country.”

Jennifer Mitchell / MPBN

As Maine college students depart the halls of academia this spring, many will embark on life with unprecedented levels of debt. On Wednesday, some of those students marched to demand free tuition, debt forgiveness and more as part of the nationwide Million Student March.

Gov. Paul LePage used an address at a Portland Chamber of Commerce breakfast to blame Democrats for what he calls pervasive gridlock in state government.  But the governor, who's campaigning for a second term, also used the occasion to propose two new policy initiatives. 

Patty Wight

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Shenna Bellows is calling on Republican Sen. Susan Collins to support a student loan bill before Congress.  At a press conference at Bowdoin College today, Bellows said the bill would allow students to refinance their student loans at a lower interest rate.  But it would also impose higher taxes on millionaires, which some say makes the idea little more than a political stunt.