Understanding Obama’s New Student Loan Plan

Aug 15, 2014

by Suada Kolovic

With the final month of summer rapidly slipping away, now is the time to buckle down and finalize how you're going to fund your college education. Whether that entails a full-ride scholarship (way to go!), an impressive financial aid package or even necessary loans, it's important to understand your options. Some of you might even be considering President Obama's Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan...if you can figure out what it involves or if it's even an option. If you're confused about this plan, you're in luck: U.S. News and World Report has broken down the big questions you need answered below:

  • Will these updates help me? If you have federal student loans, maybe. Starting in 2015, borrowers who took out loans before October 2007 or stopped borrowing by October 2011 will be eligible to take advantage of the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan. Government officials estimate this includes an additional five million people.
  • How much could I save? Now, most federal loan borrowers are eligible for income-based repayment – a different repayment plan that has the same premise as Pay As You Earn. Unlike Pay As You Earn, however, IBR caps payments at 15 percent of one's disposable income and forgives the balance after 25 years of payments. Those differences could mean a lot, both in monthly payment amount and in the total amount paid over time.
  • Didn't the president mention loan refinancing too? He did, but in relation to a bill that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced last month called the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. This legislation would allow federal and private student loan borrowers with older, higher interest loans to consolidate them within the direct loan program at today's lower fixed interest rates. That bill still has to pass both the Senate and the House, something that may not happen because Republicans are opposed to paying for the bill with a gradual increase in tax rates for those in the higher income brackets.
  • What else should I know? There is still a long way to go before the president's executive action takes effect: December 2015 is the target implementation date. The overall plan includes quite a few other ideas that will make a difference to student loan borrowers, like improving financial incentives for federal student loan servicers to help borrowers stay out of default, making it easier for active-duty military to receive benefits and increasing communication partnerships with entities such as the IRS and tax companies to ensure consumers are aware of their higher education rights and benefits.

What do you think of the president's attempt to ease the financial burden associated with student loans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section. And for more information on federal funding, visit our Financial Aid section.

And remember, there’s no need to rely on expensive student loan options to pay for your college education. For more information on finding free scholarship money for college, conduct a Scholarships.com free college scholarship search today, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



If you can read this, don't touch the following fields


 
Comments (6)

Michael A.  on  5/27/2015 12:00:19 AM commented:

Education, vetted and effective, is our nation's clear and present FIRST priority. Anything to the contrary is romantic drivel or worse, the product of a tainted and selfish (read: short-sighted) agenda.

Danita M  on  8/19/2014 6:58:44 PM commented:

I can recall hearing the president say that he had finally finished paying off his student loans; I think he said that in his second year in office. Therefore, I think he of all people understands the financial challenges student loans can cause. I applaud his efforts to try to ease the burden on future graduates. Elizabeth Warren is such a trooper fighting for better interest rates for us as well. I understand that she is also trying to stop allowing jobs to judge candidates based on their credit ratings as well. Why should a person be denied a job because they have poor credit. I am sure that the economy caused many people to inherit bad credit. That sounds like a way to keep a man down if you ask me. Way to go Elizabeth Warren and President Obama, thanks for looking out for us!

Valerie P  on  8/19/2014 6:52:13 PM commented:

In the same way that Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats created an enormous 'dependent class' through welfare reforms that now vote for the politicians that will keep those handouts coming, the Democrats now want to ensure that they will keep the college crowd voting them back into office term after term by keeping them beholden to the federal government through student loan repayments that are subsidized by the taxpayer. If the government would just get out of the student loan business altogether, the price of higher education would plummet. Why can't folks see this principle?

Toni K P  on  8/19/2014 4:54:29 PM commented:

I am a 2011 graduate with a $25,000. student loan. I have received Social Security disability since 2007 and believe there should be consideration on the front side of FAFSA. Obama is at least making a huge step for not just the young student but also for us older folks. I graduated at age 62 !

Darrian P  on  8/19/2014 4:39:29 PM commented:

Thank you Obama for trying. You are attempting to tackle alot of issues before the end of your presidency and I appreciate everything you do in attempt to improve our country.

Nicholas M  on  8/19/2014 3:49:53 PM commented:

While my family does not support socialism or programs that burden citizens to pay an ever increasing amount of their earnings in taxes, it would be nice if our taxes were diverted from supporting unnecessary wars to instead using those funds to make secondary education free for all citizens like some other countries do.

Most Shared Articles

Perhaps your 2017 New Year's Resolution is to earn more free college money - that's our goal for you! 2016 is now coming to an end, and so are these scholarship deadlines, so hurry and apply to these end-of-the-year awards while you still can! Girls Who Illustrate Awesomeness Scholarship [...]

0 months ago 6 comments Read More

The incoming Trump administration could reverse President Obama's actions on college sexual assault, giving hope to those who claim their lives were destroyed by false rape claims. However, this raises concerns for some that perhaps those who have been victims of sexual assault and made legitimate reports may not get the protection they deserve. Since 2011, colleges and universities have been [...]

1 months ago 5 comments Read More

Students are being called to "expose and document" professors "who discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values, and advance leftist propaganda" on a new website called Professor Watchlist. Turning Point USA, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2012 promotes ideas of free-market capitalism and "educates students about the importance of fiscal [...]

1 months ago 7 comments Read More

Finding trustworthy and accurate scholarship and other financial aid information can be tricky these days, especially when it comes to sources that offer unreliable, often misleading content. "Scholarships" offered by scammers who charge fees and operate outside the laws, rules and ethics of modern-day netiquette abound. Here at Scholarships.com, we carefully and thoroughly vet [...]

1 months ago 0 comments Read More

American Flags designated for a Veterans Day ceremony at Brown University were torn and trashed by university students. While a group tried to protect remaining flags, others continued what they believe was a "justified" protest against the recent presidential election. The American flags arranged on Brown University's Main Green flew in honor of the annual Veteran's Day ceremony, which made [...]

1 months ago 16 comments Read More

Black Friday deals will be unleashed in just two weeks with some of the largest retailers getting an early start on Thanksgiving Day. When it comes to end-of-the-year scholarship hunting, no worries - we've got you covered. Score big this holiday season (and semester) with free college money: RMA Foundation [...]

1 months ago 0 comments Read More

The Associate Dean featured as the "chief villain" in a discredited Rolling Stone article on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia has been awarded $3 million by a federal court jury. This decision followed an earlier ruling that the discredited article ruined her reputation and "undermined her work to help students who had been sexually assaulted." In November 2014, Rolling Stone [...]

1 months ago 6 comments Read More

November is National Scholarship Month and in its honor, we're doing what we do best - offering the best scholarships out there to help students like you fund the cost of college. Whether you're in high school trying to land some free money before heading off to school or a college student looking to pay next semester's tuition, here are some of the few generous scholarships available to [...]

1 months ago 0 comments Read More

Two fans at UW Madison's weekend football game wore costumes depicting Donald Trump lynching President Obama. The school, though stating the costume was "repugnant" and "insensitive," backed the demonstration as free speech, protected under the First Amendment. Critics are now "deeply concerned" with the lack of action. A photo of the costume went viral on social media and police asked the [...]

1 months ago 13 comments Read More