STAMFORD - Sen. Richard Blumenthal called on Congress today to pass stronger student loan forgiveness measures.

Blumenthal says the bill that recently passed in the Senate, which lowers interest rates for subsidized federal Stafford loans, will only make students take out loans with rates that would balloon over time.

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Blumenthal says a pay-as-you-earn program should be available to all graduates. He says this would include a forgiveness provision, offering students a discount if they go into public service.

Blumenthal says the number of students defaulting is on the rise due to increasing interest rates on federal loans.

Students at UConn Stamford say many of their peers are saddled with debt due to high tuition and a poor job market.

Sen. Blumenthal's plan also includes changing the tax code so that forgiven loans would no longer be counted as taxable income. He says 70,000 college students in Connecticut have taken out a subsidized Stafford loan.