Change has been introduced in the world of student loans. But it is not enough.
On Oct. 26, President Obama introduced two changes to the federal student loan program, which, in broad terms, encourages loan consolidation and assists those who are having financial struggles.
This change will affect millions—an estimated 5.8 million to be exact. However, this only applies to those with certain federal loans, leaving the students with private loans in the dust.
This is a problem considering that private loans typically come from banks and have a much higher variable interest rates than federal loans. Many of the people who are in the most need of some loan relief are those who choose to borrow privately (or perhaps had no other choice).
But to be honest, the changes being made aren’t quite as worthwhile as they’re made out to be.
Instead of loan forgiveness after 25 years, which is the current schema, it will happen after 20 and payments will be lowered for certain borrowers due to the monthly payment limits being cut by nearly one third. Not quite as climactic as was expected.
However, the problem still remains that former students are left with sometimes up to six digits of loan debt, many of which are juggling not just federal loans, but the more pricey private loans as well.
And why? Because this said student probably chose to go to the college of their dreams.
The college that promised the best education and therefore the best future, which would help the student contribute to America’s workforce, solving the problems we face and eventually relieving some of the national debt.
But unfortunately, this student is left with a detrimental financial burden and is forced to put their potentially wonderful contributions on hold to take any jobs he or she can find.
The students who choose to go to school are choosing to not only do something for themselves, but in the long run, they are choosing to do something for America by becoming educated, prepared young adults, waiting to face the challenges other generations have left. And what are they thanked with? Buckets of debt.
Obama’s program changes are a step in the right direction, but unfortunately, not quite as long of a stride as necessary.
It’s already been made clear time and time again that student loan debt is a serious problem in our nation, so it’s about time that more radical changes take place, and students are able to afford what has become expected of them.
Andra Kovacs/News editor
Andra Kovacs can be reached at email@example.com