U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown touted a plan Wednesday he said would make repaying college loans easier and cheaper, and make more grants available for low-income students.

Last year the federal government stopped contracting with private lenders to service new student loans, instead administering all payments through the U.S. Department of Education.

However, 6 million people found themselves caught in the middle when the transition took place July 1, Brown said during a conference call with reporters.

When their loans kick in, people will have to write two checks -- one to a private lender, such as Sallie Mae, and one to the government.

Brown's plan would allow them to consolidate their payments. For these institutions, fewer loans serviced means fewer government subsidies to them.

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