One day after President Barack Obama signed a presidential memo expanding a program that caps monthly student loan debt payments, University of Missouri students share their own debt woes.
Senior Ricardo Diaz has taken out loans every year to pay for his out-of-state tuition. His debt totals around $80,000.
"I have no idea how I'm gonna get all that paid back and how long it's going to take. It's probably going to take me...forever," Diaz said.
"We're all worried about getting jobs, and then having to pay loans on top of that?"
Diaz's sentiment was common around campus Tuesday afternoon. Even those students who had not yet taken out loans say they're planning for if and when they do.
"I'm always worried about trying to get a job just to start paying it off. And I know it'll take me probably a few years to pay it off," MU senior Blair Ussary said.
"I know that's something all my friends always talk about is how long it's going to take them to pay off this huge, enormous, debt that they're going to be in as soon as they graduate."
According to the Project on Student Debt organization, 63 percent of graduates of a four-year university in Missouri had debt. The average debt in the state was $23,030.
"Depending on your major after you graduate, a lot of kids are going to have trouble paying off loans after college," MU junior Michael Schultz said.
"I'm a theater major, so obviously that's not a job that pays a lot...especially right out of college," Diaz said.
"So we're all very, very concerned about whether or not we'll be able to pay those loans back."
The President's memo expands a program that caps monthly debt payments at 10 percent of a borrowers income. The memo extends the program to all past borrowers, expanding on a 2010 plan that set the 10 percent cap for those who started borrowing after 2007.
"Having a kind of limit to what they can charge us, for me, sounds like a pretty good idea. It makes me feel a little better that they can only charge me so much," Diaz said.