Student loan rates could double July 1

By on June 12, 2013

With nearly 400,000 Pennsylvania students set to lose an average of $956 if Congress doesn’t act to prevent a significant rate hike on student loans, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), called on Congress to come together to prevent the rate hike. If Congress doesn’t act, interest rates on federally subsidized student loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent July 1.

"Congress needs to come together in a bipartisan fashion to prevent this significant rate hike on student loans before July 1," Casey said. "Doubling the rate for federally subsidized college loans would be bad for students and families and could have a serious impact on the economy. With the cost of higher education rising, it’s important that Congress take steps to prevent this rate hike. I’m hopeful that Democrats and Republicans can reach consensus on this issue."

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 cut the fixed interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduate students to 3.4 percent over a set period of time, but the interest rates on any new subsidized Stafford loans will double to 6.8 percent on July 1 unless Congress takes action. The rate increase would not apply to loans that are currently in repayment or that have already been disbursed, but students still attending or entering school after July 1 that need to take out federally-subsidized Stafford loans would pay higher rates on new loans, adding even more to their existing debt load.

Across Pennsylvania, college students and families benefit from the current interest rate. Doubling the current loan rate from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent would impact nearly 400,000 Pennsylvania students and costing them an average of $956 each.

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