Obama's Student Debt Relief Action Brings Hope to Some

Published 06/09 2014 04:54PM

Updated 06/09 2014 06:26PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Students are graduating tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Now, the Obama Administration says college graduates have some hope paying back student loans.

One of the first things is getting real about what they can afford to pay back and when.

Monday’s announcement deals with capping the amount students have to pay back on monthly payments, ensuring active duty military get the lower interest rates they were promised and ensuring the loan industry is working with students to pay back--not default on -- their loans.

“Just getting out of school it's already hard to find a job,” says Coco Iyeaz.

Iyeza is a soon-to-be Drury senior. Iyeza is already well aware of the higher cost of a higher education.

“One of the opportunities, why I was able to attend Drury was that they were able to give me a scholarship,” she says. “And that the Edward Jones scholarship, which is they pay half of the tuition with room and board and everything, and then the rest is on my school loans so.”

Iyeza says she has big plans for after college

“I would like to be a marketing director someday,” she says. “Or like a management position.”

Iyeza knows first she will pay her dues.

“When you get out of school, all you think about is how am I going to get a job, how am I going to pay off all these loans?” she says.

The Obama Administration is thinking about that too along with examining how far in debt students are when they graduate.

“Average student loan debt for Drury graduates is about $21,000, which is quite a bit lower than the national average,” says Drury Interim Director of Financial Aid Becky Ahrens. “The class of 2012 average student debt for about 70 percent of college graduates was a little over $29,000.”

The Administration wants to cap loan payments at 10 percent of a graduate’s monthly income, keep active duty military's interest rates at 6 percent and work with lenders to help those who get in trouble with loan repayment.

“You already have so many school loans you want to be able to at least afford some of them,” says Iyeza.

Iyeza says maybe this way she'll be able to repay her student loans and have a life.

“Invest in a house or an apartment and a car for transportation,” she says.

Documents from the Administration say they want this to begin in December 2015.

Tune in to KOLR10 at 6 p.m. (June 9, 2014) for Laurie Patton's full report. 

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