Mr. Obama’s main action will be to expand on a 2010 law that capped borrowers’ repayments at 10 percent of their monthly income. The intent is to extend such relief to an estimated 5 million people with older loans who are currently ineligible, those who got loans before October 2007 or stopped borrowing by October 2011. But the relief would not be available until December 2015, officials said, given the time needed for the Education Department to propose and put new regulations into effect.
Also, Mr. Obama will announce that the department will renegotiate contracts with companies that service federal loans to give them additional financial incentives to help borrowers avoid delinquency or default. The education and Treasury departments are to work with the nation’s largest tax-preparation firms, H&R Block and Intuit Inc., to ensure that borrowers are aware of repayment options and tax credits for college tuition.
The president said in January, in his State of the Union address, that he would use his “pen and phone” to take executive actions and enlist private institutions on matters where disputes with congressional Republicans block legislation.