President Barack Obama will participate in a question-and-answer session live on Tumblr Tuesday to highlight the importance of reducing escalating college debt, according to a White House official.
Before the event, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers and Domestic Policy Council will release a report showing the impact of student debt on young Americans and the economy and how borrowers in each state would benefit from government action.
On Monday, Obama expanded a program that allows borrowers to cap their loan payments at 10 percent of their incomes. The White House estimates that the plan could help an additional 5 million borrowers.
Obama’s original plan, announced in 2010, is available only for those who started borrowing after October 2007. The expansion will affect anyone who’s borrowed in the past, though it won’t go into effect until December 2015.
The maximum monthly payment is already scheduled to drop from 15 percent to 10 percent in July as part of a different plan created by Congress, though that’s only for new borrowers.
The Obama administration will renegotiate contracts with federal student loan providers to urge them to make it easier for borrowers to avoid defaulting and work with tax preparers _ including H&R Block and the makers of TurboTax _ to spread the word about tuition tax credits and flexible repayment options.
The event Tuesday is part of a week-long push to highlight that can be taken to offer relief to borrowers and to urge Congress to pass a Democrat-backed bill to help more young people save money by refinancing their federal student loans. The session will be at 4 p.m. and can be seen at whitehouse.gov.
The Senate will vote on the bill Wednesday.
Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp will interview Obama in the State Dining Room asking questions submitted by Tumblr users. The audience will include Tumblr bloggers and followers of the White House Tumblr blog who applied to attend online.
It is the first-ever live White House Q&A with Tumblr, a blogging and social media platform with more than 350 million unique visitors each month, over 189 million blogs and 90 million posts per day. More than 40 percent of Tumblr users are between the ages of 18-34.
The Q&A is at 4:00 p.m. and can be seen on www.whitehouse.gov