In May 2016, the U.S. Federal Reserve reported that student loan debt has climbed to $1.26 trillion. With college tuition increasing every year, it’s hard for students to imagine getting a four-year degree without help from student loans. When these students graduate, they are then saddled with having to pay back several thousand dollars in loans no matter what their job salaries are. Additionally, student loan debt is nearly impossible to discharge through bankruptcy, so students are on the line for their loan payments no matter what kind of financial condition they are in.
It’s no surprise that the student loan debt crisis has become a hot button issue for the 2016 Presidential campaign. Voters want to know what, if anything, the presidential candidates plan to do to decrease student debt and make college more affordable for everyone.
What Is The Democrat’s Plan?
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has laid out a fairly detailed plan that includes, among other key points, eliminating tuition to all community colleges. She also plans to make in-state, four-year colleges tuition-free for students whose families fall within a certain annual income range. Clinton’s plan for free college relies on taxing high-income earners, and for states to “do their part” in controlling tuition costs and holding colleges accountable for the success rates of their students. Additionally, she would allow borrowers to refinance their loans at current rates, allowing some consumers to dramatically reduce their student loan debts.
Is There A Republican Alternative?
Republicans are less enthusiastic about Clinton’s plan, specifically stating that it doesn’t think the federal government should have any involvement with issuing student loans. The Republican Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump has apparently decided to back his party’s opinion. Despite a 2015 interview where Trump said that developing a “governmental program” was key to helping students with their debt, he has recently shifted his plan to include more private institutions issuing student loans. He added that he thought that colleges should not be allowed to benefit financially from these government loans, stating that some college employees are receiving astronomical salaries while blithely passing the debt burden onto students.
Trump has not gone into much detail about his plan, claiming that his team is still working on it. However, Sam Clovis, who serves as policy director of the Trump campaign, has revealed some possible aspects of the plan. Clovis stated that the campaign was considering making colleges share the risk of issuing student loans, which could make it more difficult for students wishing to obtain liberal arts degrees to get financial assistance for college. The idea is that students majoring in degrees that would result in more gainful employment might be considered first for tuition help. It would depend on the college’s decision, so if a college felt comfortable dispersing aid to a student wanting a liberal arts degree over an economics or business degree, that college would be free to award aid as it sees fit. But it would be the responsibility of the college to ensure its students receive an education that would get them a good job and thus, make them more financially able to repay their loans. The plan might go against traditional Republican opinion, Clovis added that Trump will not support a tax increase or tuition-free colleges. Rather, Trump is rallying for tax cuts for multiple income brackets.
While Donald Trump has not fleshed out his plan entirely, he claims his team will work diligently on their policies over the next month. In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he promised to help “all of our students who are drowning in debt.”
Need Help With Your Debt? Call an Ohio Consumer Debt Attorney
If you are behind on your student loans and can’t wait for the next President to solve the student loan debt problem, you may want to speak to an Ohio consumer debt attorney. The attorneys at Cleveland Bankruptcy Attorneys can explore your possible options and help you decide how you can get a hold on your finances. Call us today for a free consultation at (216) 586-6600, or email us at email@example.com.