Obama signs executive order tying student debt payments to income
On Monday, President Obama signed an executive order giving students with debt the option to pay no more than 10 percent of their monthly income in loan repayments.
Obama delivered a speech to accompany his order in which he spoke of the necessity of supporting student borrowers.
“We are here today because we believe that in America, no hardworking young person should be priced out of a higher education,” Obama said, according to the Post.
Although most student borrowers are protected by similar laws already, the new order brings that income cap protection to 5 million more students. The order also covers many who took out loans before October 2007.
Obama has also supported legislation sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Warren that would allow students to refinance both public and private loans at better interest rates and called out the legislation’s opponents.
“If you’re a big oil company, they’ll go to bat for you,” Obama said, according to the Post. “If you’re a student, good luck.”
This executive order is not the first time Obama has stepped up to bat for student borrowers. Last summer, Obama, along with a collection of college student body presidents including Georgetown’s Nate Tisa (SFS ’14) urged Congress not to let the Stafford student loan interest rate double.
Student debt at Georgetown and throughout the country prompted Tisa’s involvement, which garnered signatures from student body presidents throughout the country that represented over a million students.
Total student debt is now over $1.2 trillion, but Obama’s order, which should go into effect by December 2015 at the earliest, will hopefully make a dent in that number.
Photo: Joe Crimmings via Flickr