A lot of high school students have no clue about the long-term responsibilities of taking out student loans. A pair of New Jersey State senators is trying to address the situation in the Garden State. Legislation sponsored by Senators Tom Kean, Jr. and Bob Singer designed to help high school students better understand the financial obligations they are incurring when taking out student loans to finance their post-secondary education has been approved today by the Senate Higher Education Committee.

Commencement at Rider University (Facebook)

The bill requires the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to develop a document containing student loan repayment information on state, federal and private student loans, and mandates that the document be disseminated by school districts and non-public high schools to students.

"Americans citizens are now in greater debt for student loans than they are their cars or credit cards (and) it is straining our economy and severely crippling the financial stability of graduates just starting out in life during an economic downturn,” says Kean. “Just as important for young people as having access to education financing is having access to information that spells out explicitly what the loans mean for their personal finances after graduation.”

Singer points out that for most high school graduates, student loans are the first major financial transaction they will make in their lives.

"They need to have a grasp of what loan repayment will mean for them prior to deciding where they go to school, what they will study, and how much money they will borrow,” says Singer. “We cannot just expect that a teenager is going to grasp what it means to finance an education costing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars without illustrating it for them."