If Congress fails to act by July 1st, student loan interest rates will jump from 3.4% to 6.8%
Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today urged House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to put aside politics and work together to stop the looming increase in federally subsidized student loan interest rates. Unless Congress acts, student loan interest rates will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1st.
“Iowa college graduates have the third highest student debt load in the nation and unless Congress acts Iowa students will have thousands of dollars more debt piled on at the end of the month,” Braley said. “In our increasingly global economy, good jobs go to those with a good education. Our colleges and universities are avenues of economic opportunity, and we need to keep higher education within reach of everyone who wants to attend.
“That’s why I’m urging the House and Senate to put aside partisan point-scoring and get to work to stop the student loan interest rate increase. This shouldn’t be another issue that devolves into a down-to-the-wire partisan hostage situation.”
In January, Braley introduced a bill that would permanently keep the interest rate for federally subsidized Stafford loans at their current rate of 3.4 percent. More information on the bill can be found at the following link: http://go.usa.gov/dv4
Braley’s letter to Boehner and Reid can be downloaded at the following link; the full text of the letter follows: http://go.usa.gov/vcj
June 14, 2012
The Honorable John Boehner
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senate
522, Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Reid:
As you know, the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans are scheduled to double in just over two weeks, unless congressional action is taken. I urge you both to stop playing politics and come to an agreement over this issue.
College students across Iowa and the nation are waiting for Congress to solve this problem. Many of them have no faith in our ability to come to an agreement. If you cannot come to an agreement then these students will see tens of thousands dollars in extra costs when paying back their loans. For example, a student taking out the maximum $23,000 in subsidized student loans would see an increase of $5,200 over a 10-year repayment period and $11,300 over a 20-year repayment period.
While college students wait, both sides continue to play political games. One solution offered would have us pay for this extension by forcing middle class Americans to take a pay cut through increased pension contributions. Middle class Americans should not have to take a cut in pay because of failed leadership in Congress.
As college tuition continues to drastically rise, students cannot afford thousands of more dollars in bills because Congress failed to act. After witnessing the debacle that occurred over the payroll tax extension, I would hate to see a similar scenario occur with this issue. Stop playing political games and pass an extension of the current student loan interest rates. I stand ready to work in any way possible to make sure we keep student loan interest rates at their current level.
Bruce L. Braley
# # #