Obama’s Student Loan Plan and You

Oct 26, 2011

Boise, ID - The cost to go to college continues to rise in Idaho and across the country. So many students end up taking out loans. Wednesday President Obama outlined a plan to help students who’ve had to take out loans to pay for school. That includes Boise State student Misty Love-Ingelstrom who studies inside on this chilly fall day. She’s an almost-Sophomore geology major. Love-Ingelstrom says she already has student loans. By the time she finishes undergrad and grad school she’ll have thousands of dollars of debt.

Misty Love-Ingelstrom “I’m anticipating probably between 30 and 40. I’m hoping it doesn’t get that high, but it’s going to be a lot of money.”

Love-Ingelstrom says she worries about being able to pay back her loans. She’s not alone. On average students graduating from a four year institution in the U.S. will have more than 23-thousand dollars in student loans. President Obama’s proposal would cap monthly loan payments at ten percent of discretionary income instead of the 15-percent that’s currently allowed. That’s set to happen in 2014. Obama wants to move it up to next year. The White House estimates this could benefit 14 thousand Idahoans. Even more could get some relief from loan consolidation and lowering interest payments.  Misty Love-Ingelstrom says sometimes when she looks at the job market she asks herself if it’s worth getting a degree at such a high cost.

Misty Love-Ingelstrom “Eventually it will pay itself off. I’ve worked in banking, I was a loan officer for a few years and I was made fully aware that there was a ceiling as far as how high I could go because I hadn’t had a college degree yet. I was only allowed to make a certain amount of money and go only so far without that college degree.”

Most of Obama’s proposal focuses on lowering the amount of loan payments. Love-Ingelstrom say’s that’s not what worries her. She’s concerned about how long it will take her to pay them. Obama also proposes to forgive federal loans after 20 years of payments, not 25 as the law is now written.