Don’t Burden Students with Even More Debt

Don't Burden Students with Even More Debt

On July 1, the interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans is set to double from 3.4% to 6.8% -- unless Congress acts. On May 23, the House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 1911, sponsored by Reps. John Kline and Virginia Foxx) that appears to address this rate increase but would actually make loans much more costly for students. Under the bill, all new federal student loans would have variable interest rates that are projected to rise nearly three percentage points (to 7.4%) by the time this fall's freshmen graduate from college and make their first loan payment.

Senators Jack Reed and Tom Harkin have introduced legislation (S. 953) that would keep subsidized Stafford loans at the current fixed rate of 3.4% for two years and pay for itself by closing unnecessary tax loopholes. They plan to offer it as amendment on the Senate floor next week. 

With less than five weeks until student loan rates are set to double to 6.8%, their amendment would protect students while giving Congress and the Administration time to develop comprehensive reforms that truly keep federal student loans affordable for both students and taxpayers.

Act now to urge your senators to keep student loans affordable!

Message

I'm writing to ask you to cosponsor the Reed-Harkin bill (S. 953) and support their amendment to stop interest rates on subsidized Stafford students from doubling on July 1 from 3.4% to 6.8%. Their common-sense solution would freeze student loan interest rates for two years and pay for itself by closing unnecessary tax loopholes. With less than five weeks until student loan rates are set to double, their amendment would protect students while giving Congress and the Administration time to develop comprehensive reforms that truly keep federal student loans affordable for both students and taxpayers.  

Rising college costs and student debt burdens are serious problems for students, their families, and the economy as a whole. Our nation needs an educated workforce that can still afford to buy homes, start families, create businesses, and save for retirement. 

Please support the Reed-Harkin bill to keep college and federal loans affordable instead of driving students deeper into debt.