WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on Monday lauded Minnesota's new student loan refinancing program unveiled last week.
Under the program, administered by the state's Office of Higher Education, a borrower who owes $40,000 at an 8 percent, or higher, interest rate, the new refinancing option could lower monthly payments between $200 and $300.
Minnesota's plan came out of the 2014 legislative session, where a law change allowed the state agency to refinance student loans through the sale of state-backed bonds.
Clinton has launched her own version of a student loan refinance plan. Under her plan, a student who has borrowed a cumulative total of $30,000 in direct loans at 6.8 percent or higher could pay up to $4,000 less in interest over the life of the loan, with the monthly payment dropping as much as $33.
In a statement Monday, Clinton said: "I applaud Minnesota for taking bold steps towards ensuring that debt won't hold Minnesotans back. If you can refninance your mortgage or your car loan, you should be able to refinance your student loan, too."
The topic is a hot one on the presidential campaign trail -- particularly among Democrats working to target millennials and young people. Clinton's primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, has called for anyone to be able to attend a public college or univeristy for free, a plan Clinton has questioned how it would be paid for. Sanders has also said all 40 million Americans who owe money on student loans should be able to refinance.
Students and families in Minnesota originated $3.1 billion in debt last year.