A plan that could lead to Illinois changing its student loan repayment programs is moving through the General Assembly. The new method would let students pay back loans based on their income, instead of a set schedule.
The model is a European one, often used in the U.K. and Australia, says sponsor Jack Franks (D-Marengo). Franks says he wants to prevent college grads from being shackled to large debt payments.
Currently, students have to begin making steady payment shortly after they graduate, whether or not they've found a job, and regardless of how much that job pays.
It costs more to go to college these days. And the way many afford it is to take out loans. Paying that money back can be more difficult that most realize. The average college student leaves school with more than $26,000 of debt and a growing number are defaulting on their loans.
Zach Baliva wrote the cover story on the topic in the current edition of the Illinois Times. He is also hoping to make a documentary film about student debt.