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Help for students struggling to pay off debt

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TYLER (KYTX)- Many East Texas students struggling to pay off student loans will be getting some much needed help.

President Obama authorized expansion of a program that allows students to cap monthly loan re-payments at 10 percent of their income.

The program is called Pay As You Earn and the expansion will help over 5 million students with loans from the federal government.

"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," President Obama said.

Mary Volatile currently takes out loans from her parents but will soon be taking loans from the government.

"When I graduate I'll do the peace corps and then come back and probably go to grad school or law school and I'll be taking upwards of 40,000 dollars," Volatile said. 

She has plans to work as a foreign service officer and says the Pay As You Earn program will help her.

"The jobs that I want you need a lot of education but they don't pay a lot so it would help me achieve the dreams that I've set on doing international diplomacy," Volatile said.

Not only does the program cap how much students pay monthly, it also caps the number of years they pay back the loans. After 20 years of payments, any remaining debt is forgotten.

"The new program is going to help me a lot because when I graduate I'll be making 0 dollars and when I get back I'll also be in school so I would be groveling out my student loans for the rest of my life if this program hadn't been implemented," Volatile said. 

The regulations are expected to be implemented in December of 2015.
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