Students On Loan Debt Plan: Nice Job Mr. President, But You Can Do Better

Proposal Lessens The Burden, But Many Looking For Something Immediate

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Earlier Wednesday, President Barack Obama revealed his plan to consolidate and forgive student loans, a hot topic among young voters.

CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan later met with cash-strapped college students, who were excited, but not exactly doing cartwheels.

Farhan Husain is a 21-year-old Hofstra University senior from Floral Park, N.Y., with multiple student loans.

“The thing that’s really scaring me … I’m trying not to look forward to … is the $80,000 in debt as soon as I step foot into the real world,” Husain said.

McLogan joined Husain and an impassioned room full of student borrowers Wednesday afternoon to get their take on President Obama’s new plan for easing their debt.

“Over the past three decades the cost of college has nearly tripled, and that is forcing you, forcing students to take out more loans and rack up more debt,” Obama said.

Outside of mortgages, student loans are the top source of household debt. As many as 30,000 petitioners recently went onto the White House website begging for student loan relief.

And they are going to get it.

The “pay as you earn” plan will reduce graduates repayment from 15 to 10 percent of discretionary income — for 20 years instead of 25 — and consolidate major federal loans into one while dropping interest rates one-half of a percentage point.

“So by the time I’m 42, my loans should be cleared up. It doesn’t sound too great,” Husain said. “It’s always going to be in my head that my family has to be worried about me and I don’t want that thought after I graduate. I’m supposed to be on my own.”

Hofstra professor Madeline Seifer said anxieties over debts are rising, as fewer students get immediate jobs and many are forced to move back home with their parents.

“One of the ways we can reverse this trend of hopelessness and helplessness is to have the financial burdens reduced somewhat,” Seifer said.

“It’s definitely a step in the right direction. I hope that we continue it,” Husain said.

Students told McLogan they’d like more help, but the current plan is promising.

The White House said the changes will carry no additional cost to taxpayers, and should not cut jobs of lenders. It also said the student loan relief could affect 23 million families and save some hundreds of dollars a month.

Do you think the president’s plan goes far enough? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Jennifer McLogan
  • ham07

    Two problems here Universities charge too much,
    Because you can borrow outrageous amounts of loans for schools, universities will keep raising tuition. Law of supply and demand.

    I was suckered as well, don’t feel bad , finally paid off 80k at age 40. Finally time to start my life.

    • The Realist

      Go to a PUBLIC college.

  • perturbed

    I went to a state college for undergrad and graduate school and took out the loans to pay for it. I ended up with 56K in loans and thought I could pay it back in ten years with what I anticipated would be a good paying job. When I was offered 35K for my first job with a masters degree I was informed that the projected salaries I had been told of were not real. That was 5 years ago, I now make 60K per year and after 5 years of paying between 300 and 400 per month, I still owe 52K in loans and with the cost of everything going up (rent, food, gas, etc) It’s only by the grace of God that I can continue to pay the monthly payments. I don’t live in luxury, don’t own a TV or have any fancy tech gadgets. I am not looking for a handout or entitlements, but ,I think it’s ridiculous that banks and wall street received a bailout when I believe that if student loan debt was forgiven, consumers would then have the money to pour back into the economy. Maybe it’s just a dumb thought and I really don’t understand finances.

  • S.Reh

    I had $60K of student loans back in 1993. I scrimped, saved, did without in many ways, worked hard and paid them back in four years. Just because this generation is louder and feels more entitled should not mean they get to take the easy way out. I don’t own a home or have kids, and I worked in jobs I did not love, and I don’t own a lot of consumer goods, and the loans were a big part of the reason for that. I don’t see why we had to go through this and these folks are going to get off scot free.

  • The Realist

    Who keeps telling people to “rack up more debt” with huge loans and unemployable majors?

    I went to a C.U.N.Y. school and worked THREE part-time jobs to pay for it. Why must I subsidize somebody else’s irresponsible choices?

    • casualtysr

      just because you got a raw deal doesn’t mean everyone should get raw deals forever… just because one man was a slave doesn’t mean future generations have to be slaves. stop whining.

      • The Realist

        I didn’t get a raw deal. I acted responsbly and played by the rules. Everybody else should, too.

      • Justin Okello

        The Realist isn’t whining, They were RESPONSIBLE. JUst because you’re an idiot that thinks spending more on a private university means a better job, doesn’t mean future generations (or other people) have to think so. I laugh every time I see the little NYU trust-fund kids whining about their $200k education in “film”.

  • MasterChief

    He was “in the real world” when he took out those loans. That is a major part of the problem today. TOO many, including our government, thinks they can just push debt down the road and one day it will magically just disappear. Get your head out of your butt. For someone with a higher education he doesn’t seem to be too bright. Apparently a college education isn’t nearly as good as a high school education used to be forty years ago.

  • Jean Joseph

    Thank you Mr. President for that relief, so far so good it is a good plan

    • The Realist

      Good for you, maybe. Good for me, no. Why should I have to subsidize other people’s bad choices?

  • dave

    they should not have taken out loans if they could not pay them back what about taking responsibility for their actions.

    • gjk

      i borrowed money for college, got my degree, and now i’m teaching in college. Problem is, i can only work up to 12 hours at my college, colleges aren’t hiring, and still they expect me to give the collee extra hours for free.

      Since companies don’t have to be responsible for their bad choices, and individuals don’t (both can declare bankruptcy) why should i be?

  • mekelly

    Todays evening news piece on a “struggling” $80,000 in debt Hofstra student who needs debt relief makes me sick. This is another show of entitlement mentality that is taking down this country and the world . He’s so sad that it going to take him until he’s 40 to pay off his loans. Why didnt he think of that when he decided he needed to go to one of the most expensive private schools on LI. Just like the entitlement to own a house that is beyond your means. There are many ways to get a college education and if you choose to put yourself in $80,000 debt why is it my responsibility as a tax payer to bail you out.

  • Curtis

    I don’t understand why, if we can afford to give medical care & education for free to illegals, we can’t educate our own legal citizens first? Can someone please explain this to me?

  • John

    The plan doesn’t go far enough. All student loans should be forgiven completely after a period of time, ie: ten years after graduation. And the max interest rate should be one percent.

    • Joseph

      your smoking dope John… you cannot just forgive loans!!! that is completely ignorant!!!! why dont you just forgive my mortgage???

      you made a personal choice to take out a loan for your education, I made a personal choice to take out a loan for my house… see a difference??? me either… they were both personal choices, we knew we had a responsibility to repay

      • gjk

        Sure you can forgive loans; it’s done all the time. And if it were up to me, sure, i’d forgive your mortgage, or at least some part of it.

        It’s not that students aren’t willing to pay back their loans. The problem is that students are unable to pay back their loans–the jobs they were told they would get after graduating didn’t materialize. You can’t pay back what you can’t earn.

        • dr. meh

          the loan forgiveness is how this country got into this mess in the first place. Once the federal government bailed out insureance companies, banks, GM and Ford, S & L, bascially all rules could be broken. Lend like there’s no tomorrow, get rich and the federal government and tax payers will take care of the rest. A good way to transfer wealth from the future generations to the elite.

        • The Realist

          They CHOSE to listen to empty promises. They CHOSE to attend expensive schools. They CHOSE to borrow irresponsibly. I’m not responsible for their choices, and I shouldn’t have to subsidize those choices.

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