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Would You Live in a City For Student Loan Reduction? [AUDIO]

A New Jersey lawmaker is pushing a plan to help college graduates pay off a portion of their student loans by living in struggling urban areas for a few years.

Student loans
Zephyr Picture, Getty Images

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, dubbed the Neighborhood Scholar Revitalization Pilot Program, would establish a pilot program in Camden, Trenton, and Jersey City to try and attract recent college grads to enter into a two-year commitment to settle within targeted residential neighborhoods, in exchange for getting up to $7,000 to reimburse student loans.

“The legislation aims to do two things, revitalize neighborhoods, and put that money back into the economy. Rather than paying the student loans back, it’s spending it on other items they normally wouldn’t be able to spend it on,” says Ramos.

He says the goal is to diversity struggling communities by attracting younger college graduates

“It seem like a right step,” says Ramos. “We’ve seen communities rise up and be successful again when everyone has a vested interest in the success of those neighborhoods, at least it’s worth it to take a chance on.”

He adds if college graduates do this, it’s a personal investment they’re making, and if other individuals see that personal investment, they will get private investors to put money into these communities as well, and that’s really the goal.

The bill has been released by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee, and now heads to the full Lower House for consideration.

Assembly representatives Angel Fuentes and Bonnie Watson Coleman are co-sponsoring the measure.

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