"I think having the president remind folks that it's something that is available to them, to students in need, is a major step. And we're going to continue to press the point around the country. Our hope is to do this at a grass-roots level," says Justin Hamilton, press secretary for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
While advocacy might entice more people to use income-based repayment, other hurdles prevent them from negotiating newrepayment plans on their loans. "There's a whole range of problems: slow processing, misinformation, [loan servicers] steering people away from [income-based repayment] to other options," says Deanne Loonin, director of the National Consumer Law Center's Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project. She says that borrowers in default face the biggest difficulties in changing their repayment terms. "We are encouraged that [the White House is] focusing on the information piece, but that's not enough," she says.