EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSNew Repayment Plans For Student Loans
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kera Mashek
Reported: Jun. 10, 2014 8:46 AM EDT
Updated: Jun. 10, 2014 9:02 AM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
Student loan debt is a serious problem. In our country at more than a trillion dollars, it now surpasses credit card debt.
According to the White House, most college graduates leave school with a debt of nearly $30,000.
President Obama says he will sign a new executive order directing the Secretary of Education to propose regulations that would allow millions of student loan borrowers the opportunity to cap their student loan payments at 10 percent of their income. It would also offer loan forgiveness for on-time payments. The president says it's tough for young men and women to afford college.
"Here's the problem: at a time when higher education has never been more important, it's also never been more expensive. Over the last three decades, the average tuition at a public university has more than tripled. At the same the typical family's has gone up just 16-percent," President Obama said.
And for many students graduating from Huntington Junior College Monday night, the news that help could be coming to alleviate some of the student loans is a weight lifted.
More than a hundred students are taking a step toward a better future for themselves and their families, by earning their degrees from Huntington Junior College.
Many of the graduates are non-traditional students and say it took a lot of courage to go back to school. One mom says she knows it will be worth it to have a career she loves and more job opportunities.
"I've been a stay at home mom for the last nine years and it was just time to come back and help out the family, and I decided I wanted to do something that my husband and I could eventually travel and I could work from wherever we have wi-fi, and medical coding was a great option and Huntington Junior College is a great school," said graduate Charlotte Dunkle.
But after walking across the stage, a whole new set of challenges begins for the class of 2014. Many graduates will begin externships, job searches, or perhaps more education, all while the bills to repay student loans will begin.
"My loans are over $300 a month. So to be able to budget loans and a house payment and the kids, and with my daughter about to graduate high school soon, it's a very big burden to make sure those loans are paid," Dunkle said.
So the new executive actions being offered up by President Obama looking to limit the amount of payments and relieve that debt if they make loan payments on time, is welcome news.
"Oh my gosh. It would be amazing if he did that. I mean, just to know if you don't make that payment, they're hounding you and calling and you don't want to not buy food or pay your bills so it would just be a tremendous help to be able to do that," Dunkle said.
That also gives Dunkle and many of her classmates hope that their education will truly be worth the price of admission.
Tuesday at 4 p.m., President Obama will take part in his first ever question and answer session on Tumblr (ObamaIRL.tumblr.com) to answer questions about these new student loan initiatives.
There are also some great online tools that can help you learn more about federal programs already in place to help manage student loan debt, which you can learn more about that: here
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