Obama to use executive order to help more people in debt because of student loans
WASHINGTON — President Obama will move on Monday to ease monthly payments for people struggling with student loans, according to a White House official.
Obama, in executive action coordinated with a legislative push by Senate Democrats, will direct the Department of Education to expand the number of people who can take advantage of a law capping payments on federal direct loans to no more than 10 percent of their monthly incomes.
“I've heard from too many young people who are frustrated that they've done everything they were supposed to do — and now they're paying the price,” Obama said.
The action marks the latest effort by the Obama administration to advance policies by executive action because of being stymied on Capitol Hill. With the help of Cabinet heads, the president has spent much of this year initiating modest changes in programs that may provide a boost to Democrats in advance of the midterm elections.
Obama's action will expand a 2010 law that tied payments to income, according to the White House official, who said 5 million people who took out loans before October 2007 or have not borrowed since 2011 will be eligible.
The proposal aligns with a bill from Senate Democrats that would allow individuals to refinance their student loan debt at current rates. Democrats have argued that the $1.2 trillion worth of outstanding student loan debt retards economic growth as college graduates are forced to postpone buying homes.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called student loan debt levels “truly an emergency circumstance.”
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.