Congress fights over student loan rates

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 7:40am

Lawmakers argue over student loan interest rates as college students face seeing their rates double.

Going to college in the fall will end up costing students with federal student loans more money.

That's because congress still hasn't acted to stop interest rates on subsidized loans from doubling.

College students like Georgetown University's Brandon Anderson are about to feel the pinch of heftier loans unless Congress acts, he could see four-thousand dollars more of a squeeze right after graduation.

"As of July first, because Congress hasn't acted just yet, seven million undergraduates across the country with federally subsidized student loans will see their interest rates increase from three-point-four percent to six-point-eight percent."

Congress could do something right now to avoid the hike on student loans, but there's partisan bickering: Republicans say the market should set interest rates, while Democrats argue students need more protections.

So now, democratic leaders like Harry Reid say: keep interest rates at the lower rate for one more year and tackle the larger issue in broader legislation later.

"The two Republican proposals, one from the House and one from the Senate, are worse than nothing. If you can explain to me why doing something is better than doing nothing then we'll do it."

Capitol Hill officials estimate the average student's post-college bill will be twenty-six hundred dollars more if nothing changes.

The concern: that's a disincentive to younger Americans considering a college education.

"And I think every other American student feels the same way. We just want to go to school. We want be able to access the American dream. And the way to do that is to be able to afford an education. We can't afford it with the rates doubling."

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