A new survey reveals that almost 40 percent of student loan borrowers are worried that President Donald Trump's administration will negatively affect their loans, according Credit.com.
In the survey, borrowers revealed their concern that the student loan situation in the country will only get worse, with more than one-fourth of respondents saying that a Trump administration will have a "very negative" effect on their student loans. Yet about 40 percent believe the new President won’t have much of an effect either way.
Student loan debt has become a major problem in the United States. According to the survey, almost one-third of student loan borrowers owe more than $30,000 in student loans, while nearly one-fifth owe more than $50,000. What’s worse, about 7.5 percent have no idea how much they actually owe. It has gotten so bad that many borrowers have stopped making payments because they cannot afford to repay their debt and cover their living expenses.
If Trump follows through on his campaign promises on student loan debt, most borrowers will be happy. His two-part plan includes a new income-drive repayment plan where monthly payments are capped at 12.5 percent of the borrower’s discretional income, which would be applied to both federal and private loans.
The second part—by far the most popular for survey respondents—is student loan forgiveness after 15 years. This means that after 15 years of payments, the government would forgive the remaining balance on federal student loans.
More than 40 percent of survey respondents said that student loan forgiveness was the number one policy they wanted implemented during the new administration. Currently, student loan borrowers can have their federal loans forgiven after 20 to 25 years of payments on a income-driven repayment plan.
But they’re not just looking for forgiveness. Borrowers are also hoping for more options when it comes to refinancing their student loans. Right now, refinancing is only offered by private lenders—the government does not offer that option. This means that when students refinance their private student loans, they will turn into private loans and borrowers will lose all federal benefits.
Time will tell if the new administration is serious about tackling this issue, but a spokesperson for Trump said the new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, plans to address it with the help of the President and the Senate.