President Obama announced today at a speech at the University of Colorado Denver, a new initiative called ‘Know Before You Owe’ designed to make college loans more affordable and reduce the financial burden on recent graduates – many of whom are struggling to find employment.
The administration is essentially speeding up by 2 years, a federal law that was set to go into effect in 2014. Announced today and beginning in January of 2012, students with federal loans who enroll in the Income Based Repayment Plan will experience a cap on their federal student loan repayments at 10% (currently 15%) of discretionary income and all remaining debt on these federal loans will be forgiven after 20 years (currently 25 years).
The second part of the initiative encourages students with one or more types of federal loans to consolidate them for a 0.5% interest rate reduction.
The administration estimates that this could affect up to 1.6 million borrowers and save some students hundreds of dollars a month.