The first bill Senator Elizabeth Warren ever filed had to do with student loans: Last year, she proposed offering new student loan rates that were as eye-catchingly low as the rate that the Federal Reserve charges banks for short-term lending. That bill, a bit of political theater, went nowhere. Now Warren is back with a new — and more modest — proposal that would allow many people to refinance existing student loans at lower rates.
Warren says her bill would affect millions of Americans. She has won support from President Obama, who yesterday signed a separate executive order expanding access to alternate student loan repayment programs. But Warren’s bill is also endorsed by groups like the Massachusetts Mortgage Bankers Association, whose leaders understand that student debt has grown so burdensome that it’s keeping young people from buying homes.