Consumer Protection: New Jersey CPAs’ Road to Debt Freedom
NJCPA is pushing both lawmakers and its own members to take steps to lighten the load of student debt burdening millions of Americans.
Consumer Protection • New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants
Student debt plagues millions of students and their families, leaving them financially burdened for years. About 45 million people carry more than $1.6 trillion in student debt, the Federal Reserve estimated last year.
“Like our members, our members’ clients and their families have had to put off life events such as buying a home, starting a family, or saving for retirement due to insurmountable debt loads from college and other higher education,” says Don Meyer, CAE, chief marketing executive at the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, which has made reducing student debt a priority. “It is not just a millennial or Gen Z issue; many parents, guardians, and grandparents are going into debt trying to assist these students.”
NJCPA has focused on supporting legislation aimed at reducing student debt and assisting its own members with debt reduction programs.
“Building awareness around the seriousness of the student loan debt crisis—both on a public level and on a legislative level—is key to moving the needle forward,” Meyer says. “We have also worked on efforts to promote best practices within our member firms so that they help their employees with their student loan debt. Some offer matching student loan payments.”
NJCPA wants students finishing college to start off with a future limited only by their dreams, not their debt. Then “they can contribute more to the local economy, to their 401(k), and can save money for the future,” Meyer says.
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