to issue order easing student loan debt pressures
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[June 09, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President
Barack Obama will issue an executive action on Monday aimed at making it
easier for young people to avoid trouble repaying student loans, a White
House official said on Sunday.
The president will sign an order directing the secretary of
education to ensure that more students who borrowed federal direct
loans be allowed to cap their loan payments at 10 percent of their
monthly incomes, the official said.
Federal law currently allows most students to do this already. The
president's order will extend this ability to students who borrowed
before October 2007 or those who have not borrowed since October
2011, the official said.
The administration says this action will help up to 5 million more
borrowers, although it will not be available until December 2015.
"Many student loan borrowers are working and trying to responsibly
make their monthly payments, but are nonetheless struggling with
burdensome debt," the White House official said.
Faced with a Republican majority in the House of Representatives
that makes legislation out of reach for most of his policy
proposals, Obama has turned to issuing executive orders to
accomplish his agenda.
Senate Democrats have proposed legislation that would allow millions
of Americans to refinance both federal and private undergraduate
student loans at lower interest rates.
The bill is unlikely to overcome the opposition of Republicans, who
say the measure would come at too high a cost for the government.
More broadly, the administration is looking for ways to stimulate
faster economic growth without relying on legislation.
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Preventing student loan repayment problems fits with that goal
because officials say it will help young workers avoid credit
blemishes that will hurt them down the road.
"The challenges of managing student loan debt can lead some
borrowers to fall behind on their loan payments and in some cases
even default on their debt obligation, with such consequences as a
damaged credit rating, losing their tax refund, or garnished wages,"
the White House official said.
Because credit ratings are increasingly scrutinized in making
employment offers, financing a home, or even opening a bank account,
a damaged credit rating has widespread negative consequences, the
(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Sophie Hares)
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