Clinton, likely inspired by a stance Bernie Sanders took, promises to make tuition free for those students that come from families that make less than $125,000 a year. The program will start with all families who make less than $85,000 a year and gradually expand to include more students.
In 2014, the median family income in the United States was a meager $55,000. Clinton’s plan once it includes all families that make less than $125,000 a year would include a total of 80% of families.
Clinton also proposes to have community colleges tuition free for all students, one-upping President Obama’s proposal. A proposal that would have the government pay for 75% of the costs with states covering the rest. However, Clinton’s plan does not cover room and board, books, or supplies which are a major expense for students.
As of right now, the U.S. Government and the Department of Education does not allow student borrowers to refinance their federal college loans. The only option available is to turn your loans into private loans which will lose your access to income-driven repayment plans as well as forgiveness plans. Clinton wants to fix this and allow borrowers to refinance at current interest rates. Which are lower than the current federal rates by a significant amount.
Forbes reports that the average student loan payment in 2016 is $350 a month, which works out to $4,200 a year. New graduates making small wages as an entry level worker cannot afford that much money for their servicer. Clinton proposes borrowers will be capped at 10% of their total income for payments each month. Clinton plans to forgive borrowers after 20 years, and 10 for public service workers, which is a lot like current plans in place like income-driven repayment plans and public service loan forgiveness. Clinton plans to auto-enroll borrowers into these programs as currently, it can be difficult to do so if you aren’t experienced in the field.
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