Consumer Watch: Student loan debt

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 4:49 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Student loans are the second largest form of consumer debt in the nation, according to the federal government, trailing only home mortgages. So, on Monday, President Obama offered help for educated borrowers to manage that debt.

The president's executive action expands a program that caps monthly payments for certain federal student loans at ten percent of the borrower's discretionary income.

An additional five million borrowers will qualify for the program by December of next year.

The president also asked the Education and Treasury Departments to work with some private sector tax prep firms to communicate with borrowers about repayment options during tax season, when finances are top of mind.

Also part of the plan are measures to help borrowers at risk of being or in default, and a streamlined process for reduced interest rates for some active-duty military.

The changes arrive as a new class of grads faces their share of the nation's more than $1 trillion student debt burden.

It was a topic of concern on Capitol Hill.

Of students who graduate with a bachelor's degree, 71% graduate with debt, according to the White House. That's an average of more than $29,000 per student.

The president also urged Congress to take action on a democratic plan that would allow borrowers to refinance student loans at lower current rates.

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to consumerwatch@whas11.com.

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