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Montgomery County residents set to save big on college loans

Montgomery County residents set to save big on college loans. (ABC7)

Montgomery County is set to be the first in the country to allow residents to refinance their student loans.

“Most people had refinanced their house because regular retail banks are allowed to refinance home loans. They're not allowed to refinance student loans which is why most people are stuck with student loans that charge 10, 9, 8 percent interest at a time when prime rate is so much lower than that,” said Councilmember Tom Hucker. “We put a bill in Annapolis to allow Montgomery County the authority to refinance student loans.”

“By consolidating and refinancing, my payments went down from $1,150 a month to $745,” said Dee Dee McCaffrey who refinanced students loans for four children under a similar program.

“Trying to pay off student loans. It's a lot out of our pockets. We're all young,” said Sean Saintelus, incoming freshman at Montgomery College.

“The idea of student loans actually kind of scares me,” added Montgomery College graduate Adrian Zlotescu.

Associated Senior Vice President of Student Affairs at Montgomery College, Dr. Melissa Gregory points out that while the majority of students at the commuter college carry little to no student loan debt, they face “sticker shock” when transferring to four-year universities.

“Programs like this will really benefit students who have a high amount of private loan debt,” explained Dr. Gregory.

Councilmember Hucker says the program is expected to cost the county $3 million to set up, but will nearly pay for itself once fully operational due to financing revenue. There are still open questions as to who will be eligible and whether only in-state college debts will receive relief. The council is expected to vote on the bill in the coming weeks.

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