TYLER (KYTX) - It's a universal understanding, you go to college, you'll have debt.
But new 'Pay as you Earn' repayment program could benefit millions of students that are tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
UT Tyler senior Taylor Petrick is studying for finals, but there's one thing on her mind beyond that.
The amount of student loans she'll have to pay back after graduation in May.
She's already having a hard time making ends meet.
"I have 2 jobs and go to school full time," says Petrik.
Taylor plans to go to grad school to be a physical therapist.
"Very stressful thinking about what it could be post grad school and if I get a job right out of grad school that will be able to pay back those loans. Be enough to pay back those longs? Or will I pay them till I'm 80?" says Petrik.
That's a question many students ask.
"I wonder if I'm going to have a sufficient job where I can pay back and is it going to over take my bills I'm going to have. Huge worry," says Betty Mutai, a sophomore at UT Tyler.
That's why the Pay as you Earn student loan repayments are being bumped up by the education department, starting December 21st.
The project on student debt shows 2/3 of students graduated in 2011 owed more than $26,000. That's up 5% from 2010.
President Obama says this measure will help students from being crushed by debt that's nearly $1 trillion nationwide.
But it all comes down to your family, income and that could fluctuate year to year.
Setting maximum monthly payments at 10% of discretionary income and forgiving loans after 20 years, if you meet the requirements.
"Mostly I'm here in school to get an education, gain greater knowledge that money can't buy," says Mutai.
Students qualify if they've taken federal loans out since October of 2007, and received assistance in the last year.
However, a downside could be paying more over the life of the loan from lowering payments.
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