There are a lot of people who would like to buy a house and businesses that are struggling to find workers.
Lawmakers in Maine are considering taking out all of those challenges. They want to attract young people to Maine by giving them a break on their student loan debt.
Maine Senate President Troy Jackson told Insider that the state has a challenge in filling the job market. Younger workers might not have the ability to make a down payment on a first home or have the financial experience of a more experienced buyer.
The buyers would have to use their new homes as their primary residence for at least five years.
A lot of people are in debt. Jackson said that he believed that was done by design.
It may be keeping workers from taking the plunge to pursue a dream job, buy a house, or move to a new state because of debt. Employers say they are facing persistent issues in hiring new workers.
The housing market has exploded. Jackson said that the wage system in Maine is not right for the housing market right now. No one has seen this before.
The Maine legislature said that the Maine Smart Buy program would help first-time homebuyers with outstanding student debt.
The program is similar to Illinois. The state of Maine would work with participants to pay off their student debt in full at the time of closing on the home, if they had a student debt balance of between $5,000 and $40,000. A portion of the student-loan assistance must be repaid to the state if the buyer chooses to sell the home within five years.
Jackson said that they would help you pay down your college debt, but you would have to live in the state for five years.
To be eligible, participants must have a minimum credit score of 640 and their home purchases must be worth between $86,600 and $131,100. The Maine Senate is in session until April.
Jackson hopes the business community will get involved in this because they are screaming for it.
45 million Americans have student debt that is growing every day, and many of them are unable to afford a home because of it. Maine is ranked as a high-debt state by the Institute for College Access and Success.
If you want to become a professional social worker in Maine, you will have to pay your student debt for a long time because you don't make a lot of money. We need all kinds of jobs.
In a September poll, the National Association of Real Estate found that student debt was the cause of delays in home purchases.
There was a disproportionate rate of Black homeownership and the student-debt burden fell on Black borrowers.
Who has student debt? Poor people, black people, brown people are the ones who carry the most debt. The system has skewed toward us not being creditworthy.
It is not known how many people will use these programs, and if they will lift the debt burdens of millions of Americans. President Joe Biden has taken steps to act on the crisis by canceling debt for certain groups of borrowers. He is facing pressure from his own party to implement broad relief for federal borrowers before student loan payments resume on May 1.
I would like the federal government to do more for people that are trapped. We are not going to be able to fix everybody's issue. Jackson said that he would like to make sure that people can get into the state. This is one way to do it.