Obama signs presidential memo to expand student loan relief

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is looking to relieve the burden of student loan debt. Today, he signed a presidential memo expanding a program that lets borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their income every month. And he threw his support behind more sweeping Senate legislation targeting the issue.

The president was flanked by student loan borrowers at the White House. He said the rising costs of college have left America's middle class feeling trapped. He put his pen to a memorandum that he said could help an additional 5 million borrowers lower their monthly payments.

An existing repayment plan Obama announced in 2010 lets borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their monthly income in payments, but it's available only for those who started borrowing after October 2007. Obama's memo expands that program by making opening it to those who borrowed anytime in the past.

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216-w-36-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with President Barack Obama)--Alarmed at rising student debt, President Obama is moving to let millions more Americans cap their loan repayments. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (9 Jun 2014)

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206-a-15-(President Barack Obama, speaking to college graduates and others in the East Room)-"debt over time"-President Obama says he's moving to enlarge the "Pay As You Earn" program to let millions more cap their student loan payments -- so they can contribute to the economy, not be struggle with debt. (9 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *206 (06/09/14)££ 00:15 "debt over time"

207-a-09-(President Barack Obama, speaking to college graduates and others in the East Room)-"on credit cards"-President Obama says student loan debt is a huge and growing problem. (9 Jun 2014)

<<CUT *207 (06/09/14)££ 00:09 "on credit cards"

209-a-11-(President Barack Obama, speaking to college graduates and others in the East Room)-"be a no-brainer"-President Obama says the Senate is due to vote this week on a Democratic bill that would let borrowers refinance student loans, with the cost made up by closing tax loopholes. (9 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO DCJM106: President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, June 9, 2014, before signing a Presidential Memorandum on reducing the burden of student loan debt. The president said the rising costs of college have left America's middle class feeling trapped. He says no hard-working youngster in America should be priced out of a higher education. Obama signed a presidential memorandum he says could help an additional 5 million borrowers. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (9 Jun 2014)

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