Just as the indolent US Congress allowed student loan interests rates to double, the state of Oregon passed a bill to make college education much more affordable. HB 3472, known as Pay it Forward, would create a pilot financial aid program that waives tuition costs at state schools; after graduation students would then pay a small, fixed percentage of their income into a public fund for the education of others. The proposed bill was passed unanimously by both the state senate and house.
Oregon’s leadership on this issue is most inspiring, especially in the wake of the huge jump in federal college loan interest rates this week. Our nation’s massive student loan debt bubble is choking our economy, and more reforms like these are desperately needed.
Income Based Repayment & More Options
Although many people are unaware of it, a federal program exists that allows for a sliding scale income based student loan repayment to help people whose education debt is high relative to their wages, as well as partial loan forgiveness for individuals employed in public service. Here is more information about the benefits of this student debt option from the Income-Based Repayment website:
• 25-year forgiveness—If you repay under IBR and meet certain other requirements, any remaining balance will be forgiven after 25 years of qualifying repayment.
• 10-year public service loan forgiveness—If, while you are employed full-time for a public service organization, you make 120 on-time, full monthly payments under IBR (or certain other repayment plans) you may be eligible to receive forgiveness of the remaining balance of your Direct Loans through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
There are also a few more legislative glimmers of hope in this bleak economic education landscape. As the cost of college continues to skyrocket, Senators Warren and Gillibrand have both introduced bills to lower interest rates for college loans, and other progressive states, such as California, are working to make higher education more accessible to all by increasing scholarships for struggling students.image via forgivestudentloandebt.com