Pennsylvania State Capitol. Pennsylvania State Capitol. Photo credit: Zack Frank/

A state representative said he will introduce legislation that would grant individuals and couples with student loan debt with a zero interest mortgage rate to be used against the buyer’s student loan debt if they purchase a home from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s real estate-owned portfolio.

State Rep. Jake Wheatley Jr., D-Allegheny, said that zero interest mortgage would be provided by the PHFA and the PHFA would receive revenue from the sale of the home with no cost to the state.

Wheatley cited rising student loan debt as an obstacle in individuals purchasing a home.

According to an April 2017 monthly trends report released by the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office, Pennsylvania is the second-highest in the nation for student debt. The report also noted a college graduate in Pennsylvania has an average debt of $34,798. Nationally, the Federal Reserve Bank System reported that outstanding student loans totaled $1.4 trillion in 2017.

—V.H. •