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Where the Presidential Candidates Stand on Student- Loan Debt

Where the Presidential Candidates Stand on Student- Loan Deb

If you have student loans, there are likely a few areas you would like the next president to fix. Most Americans are looking for more refinancing opportunities and tax breaks for their student loans, as well as tuition free community colleges.

If student loan debt is one of your top issues on the ballot this year, here is what you need to know about the candidates’ proposals for dealing with the growing student loan crisis.

Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton has presented a comprehensive plan to help borrowers eliminate student-loan debt. She created what she calls the “New College Compact” to address issues surrounding present and future education costs.

Her main focus for existing student-loan debt is to allow borrowers the ability to refinance their student loans at current rates available to students taking out new loans. Her website states this would allow an estimated 25 million borrowers to obtain relief, with the average borrower saving about $2,000 in total.

Clinton also wants to reduce interest rates on student loans, as well as make it easier for borrowers to enroll into income-driven repayment programs that would cap monthly payments at no more than 10 percent of discretionary income.

For future students, Clinton’s plan promises to provide aid so students would never have “to borrow to pay for tuition, books, and fees to attend a four-year public college in their state.” However, her plan requires families to “do their part by making an affordable and realistic family contribution.”

Clinton’s entire plan would come with an estimated cost of $350 billon over 10 years.

Donald Trump:

Donald Trump hasn’t spoken much or published any policy positions related to solving the student loan debt problem.

So far, Trump has only written and spoken broadly against student loan debt. His website states that Trump feels that “… these student loans are probably one of the only ways that the government shouldn’t make money from, and yet it does.” He is planning on enforcing loan extensions, lowering interest rates, and creating more job opportunities.

Trump feels that the main reason that Americans are unable to pay for student loans is because the United States is outsourcing jobs to other countries- he plans on bringing these jobs back to America.

Trump has also stated that colleges are not watching their costs and feels there is no reason for the increase of price students are having to pay. He wants to decrease the cost of college which, in the long run, would decrease the total amount of student loans.

Jill Stein:

Jill Stein has made the promise to Americans that she’ll wave away every cent of outstanding federal education debt. “We (the United States) Bailed out Wall Street to the tune of $17 trillion… The good news is that student debt is tiny by comparison: only $1.3 trillion. And we have the people power to make this happen. There are 43 million young and not-so-young people burdened with predatory student loan debt…”

Stein feels that it is time to simply cancel the student loan debt, as was done for Wall Street. She feels the bailout for students can be accomplished through quantitative easing, the finance tool used to bail out banks.

Stein also wants to make public college education free stating “It’s the right thing to do… higher education is essential now in the 21st century and it should be provided for free!”

Stein has not published any policy positions related to student loan debt.

Gary Johnson:

Gary Johnson believes that the reason college costs are so high is because of the guaranteed government student loans. Johnson has publically stated that he is in favor of reducing interest rates on federal student loans. “I would really take a hard look at how students might, I don’t know, receive some sort of benefit or reduced interest rate. I mean, if we can—if the Federal Reserve can bail out all the big banks, it seems to me that we might arrange a lower interest rate for all these loans to get paid back.” 

Johnson says that he feels that the Federal Reserve and the Department of Education should be abolished.

Johnson has not published any policy positions related to student loan debt.