Student Loan Interest Rates Could Double by July 1st

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Mon, April 1 2013 at 6:34 PM, Updated: Mon, April 1 2013 at 7:12 PM

Student loans and the interest rates that come along with them are a big headache for many students.

"It feels like they're hard to get, not very rewarding and they're the choice between going to school and not going to school," said Nash Hascall, an SOU Sophomore.

"You have to pay it back [...] you get the reminders, it adds up real fast," added Ariana May, a Senior at SOU.

If Congress doesn't act, subsidized Stafford loan interest rates could double from 3.4% to 6.8% by July 1st.

"It makes school a lot less accessible to those who are looking at taking out loans and makes it a lot harder to go to school," said Sierra Faulkner, a Senior who attends SOU.

The skyrocketing interest rate would only affect students taking out new subsidized loans...so mainly, incoming freshmen.

"Which is ridiculous," began Hascall.

"They don't know the loans [...] they don't understand that at a young age. I feel like it's unfair for them to be taken advantage of almost before they get to learn about all this in college."

Add to that, tuition at schools across the state keeps ticking up.

Starting in 2007 Congress has progressively lowered the student loan interest rate in the bad economy.

There are proposals to keep the interest rates low, but Congress would have to find a way to pay for it through taxes or cuts to programs.

Finding more money won't be easy, especially with Congress still trying to deal with sequester related scale-backs.

Meantime, Hascall is calling on Congress to keep students in mind when it comes time to make the decision.

"Please fund us for going to school. It is very important and we need critically thinking young people in this world if we want a bright future."

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement that he supports keeping interest rates low for subsidized Stafford loans and agrees that "higher education is the ticket to success."

One SOU Junior we spoke with, Dylan Beaman, said he's just grateful the government gives him money to pay for college. Loans are his only option when it comes to getting an education.

 

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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