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Hartzler Introduces Student Loan Bill

February 20, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Hartzler (MO-4) introduced H.R. 5863, the Student Loan Marriage Penalty Elimination Act. The bill addresses growing student loan debt by making the student loan interest tax deduction work better for married couples. Current law penalizes married couples by only allowing them to take the deduction—even if both spouses qualify. This bill would stop this unfair tax on student loans against married couples while also helping individuals with their student loan debt burden.

“For decades, hardworking Americans have been saddled with student loan debt which has delayed their dreams of achieving financial stability. I am proud to lead this effort to maximize the student loan interest tax deduction that married couples can claim each tax year. This allows married couples to put more towards their student loans to pay them off faster, incur less interest, put more food on the table, or save a little more for a down payment on a home.” Hartzler said.

This unfair marriage penalty came to my attention after Claudia McHale, a constituent of mine from Garden City, discussed with me the situation of her niece and her husband.

“It is not right for our people paying back their loans to be denied full credit because they are married,” McHale told Hartzler.

Both of them paid an average of $7,084 every year towards their student loans yet were only able to claim a $2,500 deduction between the two of them, the same maximum amount a single individual can claim every tax year. It is ridiculous that the federal government punishes taxpayers with high student loan balances just because they get married.

“The government should not be punishing people by making it harder to pay off student loan debt simply because they are married and building a family,” Hartzler concluded.

Click here to view a copy of the bill.