by: Jeff Dore Updated:
ATLANTA,None - On Wednesday, President Barack Obama sped up a plan to help college graduates pay off their loans.
The White House estimates the program will help about 47,000 Georgians by lowering annual payments from 15 percent of their disposable income to 10 percent. A college graduate who could only find a job flipping burgers would pay back much less each year than a graduate who landed a six-figure income.
In making the announcement, Obama said, “about 1.6 million Americans could see their payments go down by hundreds of dollars a month.”
Channel 2’s Jeff Dore went to Georgia State University to get students’ reaction. Most were pleased. Marketing major Calesia Goddard said, “I think that’s perfect because at least I know I’m only going to pay 10 percent of what I earn.”
The president also announced that after 20 years of faithfully repaying loans, the balance will be forgiven. Currently the cutoff time is 25 years. Freshman Emily Lasher said, “That’s good. That’s like a miracle.”
But sophomore Connie Moore wasn’t so thrilled, even though she is amassing student debt.
“I didn’t take the loan because I didn’t want to pay it back. I took it because eventually I hope to have a job where I can pay it back and not rely on our government to bail me out,” she told Dore.
The White House also announced that an estimated 109,000 Georgia graduates could reduce their interest rates and simplify payments by consolidating their loans.
Students can find out if there are eligible at www.studentaid.ed.gov/ibr.