President Barack Obama told students about a student loan forgiveness initiative during a town hall meeting in Tampa on Thursday.
He talked about the initiative Wednesday night in his State of the Union Address, saying, ‘In the United States of America, no one should go broke, because’they chose to go to college.’
‘ ‘Let’s tell another 1 million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans and all of their debt will be forgiven after’20 years – 10 years if the person works for the’government,’ Obama said Thursday at the University of Tampa.
Adjusting the size of’payments or making them income-based is one thing, but student debt should not just vanish after an amount of time. It’s not as if federal student loans are any worse than regular loans.
If homeowners are expected’to pay mortgages and businesses are expected to pay business loans, then college graduates should do the same. If the loan becomes unpayable,’there is always the option to default, but debt forgiveness without consequence seems unnecessary.
Income-based payments are available for federal Stafford, Grad Plus and Perkins loans, and there are no plans to make more costly private loans income-based, according to Forbes.
Apparently, Obama doesn’t think students will be able to pay off federal loans, yet another plan Democrats are pushing through Congress could make them available to more students by making the process cheaper.
A bill called the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act would restructure the federal loan program. Previously, private banks would give out government-subsidized loans, and the government would reimburse the banks if students defaulted. If the bill passes, the government will loan directly to students, saving an estimated $87 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Why does Congress want to make it easier for students to get federal loans if loans prove too expensive to pay off? The desire to get students out of debt may be tied to the poor U.S. economy, but by the time the loans expire in 10 or’20 years, the economy should be better.
If it will help borrowers, the government can implement the 10 percent income-based loan, but payments should continue until the loan is paid off.