Gov. Murphy signs two bills aimed at helping college loan borrowers

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Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law two bills aimed at helping student loan borrowers facing financial hardships.

The governor signed the bills Thursday at his office in Trenton.

One measure permits borrowers in financial straits to pay 10% of their monthly household income for two years. Beyond two years, if needed, borrowers could pay 15% of household income for 25 years.

The other measure offers borrowers in default a chance to reach a settlement agreement and rehabilitate their credit.

Over their college career, the average New Jersey college graduate accrues $30,000 in debt.

Due to the new laws under the Murphy Administration, the changes are permanent for future administrations.

"Today, that program becomes law, meaning that it will be available to future graduates for generations to come. It's nice that we've got great leadership that is doing the right thing in assuming and capturing a best practice but let's make it the law, no matter who the leaders are that forever and for always this is the way it's going to be in New Jersey," says Gov. Murphy.

The changes will not cost taxpayers because the loans are funded entirely through private revenue bonds.

The bills stemmed from a student loan overhaul sparked by a 2016 New York Times article showing co-signers were still liable for debt even after borrowers died.

Former Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation allowing loan forgiveness in the case of a borrower's death.

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

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