In an effort to help college graduates ease their mounting student loan debt, the Middle Class Task Force, chaired by Vice President Joe Biden, proposed earlier this week to strengthen the Income-Based Repayment Program (IBR) that went into effect last July. IBR was established in the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, a bill that the United States Student Association (USSA) played a key role in supporting.
The Task Force’s proposal would lower the cap on federal student loan repayments from 15 percent of a borrower’s discretionary income to 10 percent. Additionally, it shortens the time it takes to forgive student loan debt from 25 years to 20 years. If passed, this initiative would help hundreds of thousands of recent graduates repay their loans in a more flexible and affordable manner.
“College graduates are entering the worst job markets on record for young people already an average of $23,000 in debt and need financial relief more than ever,” said Gregory Cendana, USSA President. “Strengthening IBR is a great step in making college more affordable and will supplement the student aid reform legislation currently being drafted in the Senate.”
The proposed changes to IBR will be included in President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2011 that he will send to Congress on February 1st. USSA, and students nationwide, will advocate for this and other investments in higher education programs, including the student aid reform legislation presently in the Senate.