Published: Oct 26, 2011 8:03 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says it has never been more important for Americans to get a college education. But he says it has also never been more expensive to do so.
    
Speaking at the University of Colorado in Denver, the president announced new executive actions to lower student loan payments. The initiative accelerates an income-based repayment plan that reduces the maximum required payment on student loans to 10 percent of annual income. The measure was supposed to go into effect in 2014, but Obama wants it to start next year.
    
Obama also announced a program to allow borrowers to consolidate their loans and get a lower interest rate.
    
The president says by lowering loan payments, people will feel more confident buying houses and making other purchases that will give the economy a much needed boost.

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