Gov’t launches new website for student loan borrowers

The United States Capitol Building, Washington D.C. (Photo: Shutterstock)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Education has launched a new website to help people with student loans find a repayment option that best suits their needs.

The move is part of an effort the Obama administration is undertaking to enroll an additional 2 million people into repayment programs such as the Pay As You Earn program, which caps monthly student loan payments at 10 percent of income.

Federal student loan debt exceeds $1.3 trillion, and about one in seven borrowers default on their loans within three years of beginning to repay them.

The Government Accountability Office found last year that many eligible borrowers don’t participate in the income-driven repayment programs, in part, because the department doesn’t consistently notify them of their options.

Education Secretary John King told reporters during a conference call that he’s still paying off loans he took out as a graduate student. He said the debt can be daunting, but is not necessarily a bad thing because college is the single best investment people can make for their future. “It’s debt that pays you back. At the same time, we know costs are rising too fast and too many Americans are struggling to pay back their loans,” King said.

King said the department will also work with 40 outside organizations to educate borrowers about the repayment options available to them. In the long run, the department is moving toward a future one-stop shop where borrowers can more easily manage and repay their loans.

King acknowledged the income-driven repayment plans aren’t the best solution for every borrower. Some would do better paying off sticking with a standard 10-year repayment plan because they’ll end up paying less interest in the long run. “It’s really individual specific,” King said.

The new website is StudentLoans.gov/Repay.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s