President-Elect Trump & Student Loan Debt
What we know so far about Trump's plans.
By Kathryn Knight Randolph
December 01, 2016
Though you may be jubilant or grief-stricken over the Election results, we can all most likely agree on one thing: this country has a huge student loan debt problem. HUGE.
While student loan debt was never a focal point of the Trump campaign, the President-elect does have strong opinions on student loans, college costs and debt forgiveness. He revealed these sentiments along the campaign trail through speeches, Q&As and tweets, as highlighted by USA Today College.
Whether there is a concrete plan to tackle the student loan industry and skyrocketing debt remains to be unseen, but for the sake of college students and graduates, we hope it will be addressed during the Trump presidency.
Here is what President-elect Trump has said so far:
Cap repayment at 12.5% of income.
Currently, there are several different income-driven repayment plans established for college graduates. These types of plans are best for students that have quite a bit of debt without a high-paying salary. Under the current plans, graduates pay just 10% of their monthly income rather than the hundreds of dollars that would be owed under a standard repayment plan.
What Trump is talking about here is a 25% increase for income-based repayment plans. For instance, if your monthly loan payment right now is $200, your monthly payment amount will increase by $50 if he is able to make changes to the student loan system.
Forgive student loans after 15 years.
Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump spoke out vehemently about the fact that the government makes money off of student loans. As part of his plan to limit the government’s dependence on student loan profits, he has stated he would like to forgive student loans after 15 years.
Under the current plans, federal student loans are forgiven after 20 years, and it’s still unclear which plans Trump plans to extend forgiveness. Would student loan forgiveness apply to just federal loans – or private loans as well?
Cut college costs.
Finally, Trump wants to get to the root of the problem – college costs. According to a campaign speech to college students in October, Trump stated that the cost of college has increased by 40% in the past 20 years. He wants to stop that.
His administration would like to tax universities that don’t cut college costs. He also wants to hold them accountable to where money is spent – is it spent on administrative salaries and new buildings or on educating students? However, he also wants to reduce federal regulations so that university funds are not spent on compliance but rather on the students.
The full extent of Donald Trump’s plans for student loans and college costs still remains unclear, but college students and graduates can work to help shape policies and regulations to their benefit. It starts by writing members of Congress, which you can learn how to do here. It’s also vital to stay informed, and Fastweb will work to ensure that we stay on top of any new plans and proposals that will help to alleviate student loan debt and make college more affordable.