Dubuque Teacher Excited about President Obama’s Student Loan Relief Expansion

By Katie Wiedemann, KCRG-TV9

DUBUQUE, Iowa — President Obama is trying to make college easier to afford.

He signed a president memorandum today that could help five million people in debt from student loans.

An existing repayment plan allows borrowers to pay no more than ten percent of their monthly income in payments. But it’s only available to those who started borrowing after October 2007.

The President’s memo expands that program to people who borrowed before 2007.

President Obama says hardworking Americans shouldn’t be priced out of a college diploma.

“Here’s the problem; at a time when higher education has never been more important, it’s also never been more expensive. Over the last three decades, the average tuition at a public university has more than tripled. At the same the typical family’s income has gone up just 16-percent,” the President said.

Another part of the expansion will forgive the remaining loan balance for some professionals after ten years.

For Prescott Elementary School teacher, Aundrea Kaune, saying goodbye is bittersweet.

Kaune said, “I like kids. I like teaching. I like making a difference. It sounds cheesy but I think you can really make a difference in people’s lives. “

The news she learned today will likely make a financial difference in her life.

Under President Obama’s expansion, public sector professionals, like teachers, can have the balance of his or her student loans forgiven. That’s if they’ve been making payments on-time for ten years in a row.

“I took quite a bit of loans out to pay for housing. I did the work study program and I knew right away when I graduated I’d pay them back,” said Kaune.

Kaune says it can be hard to re-pay those loans on a typical teacher’s salary. So she hopes the expansion will help draw more passionate, qualified people to her profession.

“You want people in the teaching field who really want to be in it.”

But for now, she’ll be enjoying some much needed time off this summer.

l Comments: (563) 583-9999; katie.wiedemann@kcrg.com

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