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Students happy about plan to lower student loan payments

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As the economy sags many college grads find themselves burdened by student loan debt while struggling to find a job.

Today President Obama announced a plan that could provide some relief through lower student payments. For students at cape fear community college, it’s exciting news.

“I think it’s very good, because there are a lot of people that are having money issues and are in debt because of loans, and it’s kind of hard to find a job when you get out of college,” CFCC student Shameque Dowe said.

College grads can breath a little easier. President Obama announced an income-based repayment plan to reduce the required payment on student loans to 10 percent of annual income. That means anyone without a job after graduation will not be forced to pay anything until they have the financial means.

“I think it will be helpful with the economy the way it is and their not having jobs,” CFCC Assistant Financial Aid Director Rachel Cavenaugh said. “It will give them some relief.”

The executive actions will also allow borrowers to consolidate their loans and get a lower interest rate. That will help students like Hailey Heflan. She receives financial aid now at CFCC, and when she transfers to a four-year university she plans to take out even more student loans.

She says many of her peers are in similar situations.

“I have a lot of friends who are already struggling with student loans, and once I tell them the news they’ll be excited, too,” Heflan said. “They will be able to pay them back as soon as they can, but have a longer time, because they will be cut down.”

CFCC officials say that they do not expect an increase in student applicants or loans because of these changes.

Still some students say they are just thankful for the help.

“If I get out of school, I am going to need the money to live, because some people don’t have no where to go,” Dowe said.

The plan was supposed to go into effect in 2014, but President Obama now says it will now start next year.

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