Obama to help students with loan repayments: White House

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 25, 2011 4:25 PM
Obama to help students with loan repayments: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will use his executive power to ease the burden of student's loans by helping them to "consolidate" their debts, White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Tuesday, but he gave no details.

Obama will announce the measures in Denver on Wednesday, as he wraps up a swing through electorally important western states to convince voters he is using the power of his office to bypass congressional Republicans who oppose his jobs plans.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was due to brief reporters later on Tuesday on the initiatives.

Education industry analysts expect changes to a 2007 income-based repayment program to provide extra relief for some borrowers, and steps to allow different types of loans to be bundled together and serviced by a single debt service provider.

With a $447 billion jobs plan launched last month stalled so far by lawmakers, the president has opted to use his executive authority to make changes the White House says will help to boost hiring at a time of congressional inaction.

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Republicans say this is an gimmick aimed at currying favor with voters ahead of next year's election, and urge the president work with them instead of traveling around the country campaigning against them.

(Reporting by Alister Bull)