Federal program helps college grads with student loans

bcuddy@thetribunenews.comDecember 28, 2012 

A federal program designed to make it easier to repay student loans has gone into effect, according to Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

“We need to make sure going to college is more affordable and that earning a degree doesn’t overwhelm our nation’s young people with debt after graduation,” the congresswoman said.

She said years of budget cuts have shifted a larger portion of the cost of higher education to students and their families.

The “pay as you earn” program reduces monthly loan payments by capping them at 10 percent of discretionary income. That, said Capps, will make loan repayment more manageable for recent graduates.

In addition, 10- and 20-year loan forgiveness may be available to “pay as you earn” borrowers who meet their monthly payments.

Capps said implementation of the plan “will put more money in the pockets of borrowers on the Central Coast, reduce the risk of default, and encourage more job creation by increasing consumer demand.”

Capps urged students who want to learn more about the plan, including whether they are eligible, to go to http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans/pay-as-you-earn.

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