Obama Caps Repayments for More Student Borrowers
President Barack Obama will allow millions more student loan borrowers to tap into the federal "pay as you earn" program, he announced Monday.
Critics say the president is bypassing Congress to take executive action again, this time on behalf of a potentially important midterm voting bloc.
The new program allows former students to cap their loan payments at 10 percent of their monthly income.
The president's executive order opens up the "pay as you earn program," allowing potentially millions more people to participate.
The pay as you earn program limits payments on student debt to no more than 10 percent of monthly income.
Student loan debt is a huge issue for many. Nationally it's nearly $1 trillion, higher than car loans and even more than credit card debt.
"I do 100 percent. I'm funding it entirely through federal loans," Mike Rueb, a college student, said.
Young people made up an important part of the president's voting bloc in 2008 and 2012, but there's concern they may not turn out for this year's midterm elections.
Actions like this latest executive order could help, as could legislation that would let college grads with heavy debt re-finance their loans.
Critics say Obama is going too far in exercising his power.
Executive actions in recent months include the Bergdahl deal that swapped an American soldier for five Taliban detainees, new restrictions on carbon emissions, and an increase in the minimum wage for workers under federal contracts.
Just who will pay for all the debt relief is another concern. The refinance legislation would be funded by new taxes on some high-income individuals.