Communities

How Student Loans Will Change Under President Trump

by James Poulos

December 2, 2016

Donald Trump has been fueling some Americans’ political nightmares for a while now. But in more than a few areas, he’s simply been scrambling people’s expectations. Diehards freaked when Trump first floated establishment elites for his cabinet like Mitt Romney and Steve Mnuchin; Republicans split over the likes of retired Russia-friendly Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, Trump’s pick for National Security Advisor. But assuming the Trump administration doesn’t crash the economy or start a nuclear war, what’s the president-elect’s plan for those student loans glowering at your paycheck?

Well, it depends. On the one hand, Trump has made pretty clear that he’s a fan of big businesses, so long as they help (in his thinking) make America great again. Analysts have reasoned that his term in office will probably be pretty good for private student loan debtholders. Some stocks in that industry have gone up since his election, and some congressional Republicans might push Trump to deal private lenders back into the federal student loan system, according to MarketWatch. Plus, he’s likely to staff up the Department of Education with a team that’s easier on for-profit colleges than the current bureaucracy.

But Trump has also already advanced a general approach to student debt relief that’s a few clicks more openhanded than anticipated: the scheme would wipe out repayments in excess of 12.5% of your income for up to 15 years. And if Trump’s really as ready to add substantial new debt to the government’s own balance sheet, what better way to peel off some support among millennials – not his biggest fans – by taking a federal hit for their benefit?

Long story short? Don’t expect any clarity on student debt right away. But for now, don’t expect the worst either.  

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How Student Loans Will Change Under President Trump