Last week my buddy, Barack kicked off his presidential re-election campaign by speaking to a group of students in Arlington Virginia. He’s been talking a lot about student loan debt and the possible rise in interest rates for student loans. Apparently, students these days (and those that took out loans years and decades ago) are graduating with an average of $25,000 dollars in student loan debt. Yeah, sounds about right. And that most Americans owe more on student loans than they do on credit cards.
None of this is news to me. In the case of the loveable misanthrope, both of these facts are true.
Meanwhile, Representative Hansen Clarke (D-MI) Introduced a bill called the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012. As soon as I saw a petition for this to be introduced as a bill I signed it. I didn’t even look into what it was. All I thought was “One more step closer to not having to pay my student loans back, hellllzz yeaaahh” but after reading the bill, I’m not exactly sure what I’m supporting.
There’s some math involved:
“to establish a 10/10 Loan Repayment Plan that allows borrowers to limit their monthly payment on such loans to one-twelfth of 10% of the amount by which their adjusted gross income and that of their spouse (if applicable) exceeds 150% of the federal poverty level.”
Eh? I think that part is for people who can make their payments.
“provides forgiveness to borrowers who, after the date that is 10 years before the date of this Act’s enactment, have made 120 monthly payments under the 10/10 Loan Repayment Plan or under another repayment plan that required them to make payments at least as large as those they would have made under the 10/10 Loan Repayment Plan.”
Which, I think, means that after 10 years of paying those monthly payments, you don’t have to pay anymore.
Or… If you didn’t make those payments because you couldn’t afford to:
“Credits the months during which an individual is in deferment due to an economic hardship as months for which payment was made for purposes of the 10/10 Loan Forgiveness Program.”
So, just wait 10 years. Basically.
Oh, and if you’re a public servant… cut that time in half, yo!
“Amends the public service employee loan forgiveness program to forgive the DLs of participants who have made 60 (currently, 120) monthly payments on such loans pursuant to specified repayment plans. Includes primary care physicians in medically under-served areas in the public service employee loan forgiveness program.”
It also puts caps on the interest rates of student loans. And caps the amount of forgiveness allowed to new borrowers. There’s something in there about consolidating loans too.
I get tired of reading those long ass bills and trying to decipher their meaning after a while.
I’ll just add you to the list of student loan creditors trying to get money out of me that I don’t have.