Aiming to reach young people online, Obama pitches steps to ease student debt burden on Tumblr

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says easing the burden of student debt is key to encouraging more students to pursue critical fields like teaching and social work.

Obama is answering questions about student debt on the social networking site Tumblr. It's part of a weeklong push to highlight the issue of college affordability.

Obama says those who want to pursue "helping professions" shouldn't be dissuaded because of low salaries. He says giving people flexibility to repay loans ensures their careers aren't constrained by costs. He says it could open up a huge pool of talent.

Obama is urging Congress to pass legislation allowing borrowers to refinance student debt at lower rates. He's also taking executive steps to let more borrowers to cap their monthly payments at 10 percent of their income.

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