Obama aims to expand student loan relief


U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach as he participates in the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Colleville sur Mer in Normandy, France, Friday, June 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON - Nearly five million more people will be able to take advantage of a program that caps monthly student loan payments at 10 percent of the graduate's income.

President Barack Obama is signing an executive order that lets borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their monthly income in student loan payments.

The measure expands on a 2010 law that covered those who started borrowing after October 2007 and kept borrowing after October 2011. The executive order allows those who borrowed earlier to participate, potentially extending the benefit to millions more borrowers.

Obama will sign the order Monday during an event in the White House Rose Garden. The president will also use the appearance to call for Congress to pass more sweeping legislation that would let college graduates with heavy debts refinance their loans.

But, some Republicans say these bills don't solve the underlying problem, which is college costs.

The Senate is expected to debate the legislation next week, but it faces significant obstacles.

Of students who graduated with education loans in 2012, the average college debt was:

 $23,893 in North Carolina

$27,416 in South Carolina

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