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Obama Moves To Extend Student Loan Payment Relief

Obama Moves To Extend Student Loan Payment Relief

CREATED Jun 9, 2014

WASHINGTON (NEWSCHANNEL 5/AP) - President Barack Obama said the rising costs of college have left America's middle class feeling trapped. He says no hard-working youngster in America should be priced out of a higher education.

Obama is signing a presidential memorandum he says could help an additional 5 million borrowers.

An existing repayment plan lets borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their monthly income in payments, but is only available for those who started borrowing after October 2007. Obama's memo expands that program by making it fully retroactive.

Obama is also calling on Congress to pass more sweeping legislation that would let college graduates refinance their loans at lower interest rates. Senate Democrats are pushing that bill but it faces Republican opposition over how to pay for it. Critics like Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., called it a "political stunt."

"Every two years before an election, one party or the other will show up with a student loan proposal," said Sen. Alexander. "They are trying to appeal to students in hoping students and others will reward them with their votes."

CEO of Granite Retirement and Regen Tax in Bellevue Kendall Regen said he frequently talks to clients of all ages concerned about paying off student loans. He said the best advice, especially when students are right out of school, is to stick to a budget, and ask for help.

"You have to stay on top of it," said Regen. "You've got to be proactive and get in touch with your lender. There are alternative repayment plans based on your income."

President Obama will continue his student loan push Tuesday by taking questions on the social media site Tumblr.

(Copyright 2014 NewsChannel5/The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)