Stafford Loan Interest Rates Double

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KIMT NEWS 3 — College students looking for a subsidized government loan were in for a bit of a shocker Monday.

While they may be taking a break from their studies, the thought of paying for school weighs heavy on their minds.

Many area college campuses are quiet this time of year but students are still thinking about how they will pay for school including those who do not have a subsidized Stafford Loan.

“I’m already going to have bills in a year once I graduate and then it’s almost going to double if I had that loan,” said Waldorf student Carlos Ruiz.

That is because on Monday, loan rates for those Stafford Loans doubled from 3.4 percent interest to 6.8 after lawmakers could not find a solution they could agree on to keep them low.

“The rate increase would only be for new loans after July 1, but it’d be for all new Stafford Loans, subsidized Stafford Loans, taken out after July 1. So whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior and you’re borrowing more in the subsidized loan area, they’re all going to go from 3.4 to 6.8,” said Waldorf Financial Aid Director, Duane Polsdofer.

This new rate is far from set in stone. Leaders did miss the July 1 deadline but they can figure something out after they return from their break.

“If they change it, they could just change it to a different interest rate, so they could have a compromise. Instead of having it go from 3.4 to 6.8 and go back to the 3.4 they could go back to four or five percent, they could set it anywhere in between,” Polsdofer said.

So he said it is important to make your voice heard.

“I would be concerned with it and call your congressmen, senators, ask them for the sake of your sons and daughters or themselves going to college, put aside their bipartisan politics and let’s sit down and hammer some sort of solution out,” Polsdofer said.

That is something that would benefit those still looking to pay for their education.

“The way life is going on, people are getting paid more, so it’s definitely possible to get that college education, but it does make it tough,” Ruiz said.

Congress’ Joint Economic Committee said that this increase will cost the average student an extra 2,600 dollars over their college career.

Ruiz said it is hard to imagine what the cost of college will be when he has children if this is what it looks like now.

Iowa Congressman Tom Harkin has said that he and his colleagues would consider a retroactive fix on July 10 after their holiday break.

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