New York Reps. Fight to Keep Student Loan Interest Rates Affordable

by Laura Macchiarola
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CollegeDegrees360, flickr

Representatives Israel and Meng are introducing legislation to prevent student loan interest rates from rising.

Student loan interest rates are threatening to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July.

New York representatives Steve Israel and Grace Meng are introducing the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013 to Congress.  The legislation will keep student loan interest rates down to 3.4 percent for the next two years.  Congressman Israel said, if Congress refuses to act, students may have to pay back an extra $1,000 for their student loans.  He said there are a lot of students out there who simply cannot afford it.

“[Students are] trying to get by paying for gas to go to college, and now the federal government is going to tell them to come up with an additional thousand dollars for interest on a student loan?” said Israel, “Students are telling me it shouldn’t be harder to go to college.  We should be making it easier to go to college.”

Israel said college is essential for all students, especially in light of the competitive job market.  He also said it is important for the country as a whole.

"If our economy is going to prosper, we need to make it easier for the middle-class to get into college and not build higher barriers." said Israel, "That's why we should not allow the rates to double.  We should keep them where they are and make college more affordable."

If the student loan interest rates double, they are estimated to impact over seven million students and families.

 

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