President Obama has moved to make it easier for as many as five-million people to get easier payment conditions for their college student loans. The President’s executive order allows people to pay no more than ten percent of their monthly salary instead of facing calculated payments that will pay the debt within a certain time.

Assistant Commissioner of Higher Education Leanne Cardwell says the plan also makes sure student debt is not perpetual. “There’s also a…loan forgiveness provision at the end if you’ve paid for twenty years, or ten years in a public service job,” she says.

The most recent figures the department has are for 2012 graduates. Cardwell says the average Missouri student loan debt for them was a little more than $23,000 for a four-year degree, significantly below the average national debt of $29,400, but still substantial. .      

She says the President’s proposal is likely to evolve before it goes into effect because the federal education department will have to work out regulations. The new program goes into effect at the end of 2015.

AUDIO: Cardwell interview 13:13