Student Loan Rates Double, Still Hope if the Senate Acts Quickly

Here's a Monday bummer for you.

Interest rates on new subsidized Stafford loans rose from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent today. As predicated last week, the bill proposed by a group of bipartisan senators to counter the rate increase did not pass by the July 1 deadline. Congress’ Joint Economic Committee estimates the increase will cost the average student $2,600.

But before you thrown yourself off a Chase building, know that all hope is lost.

The bipartisan bill still has a chance of passing and being applied retroactively when the Senate resumes after July 4th. The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act is heralded not only as short-term fix to prevent student loans for doubling, but also as a long-term fix. Since it ties interest rates to 10-year treasury bonds, it ensures that interest rates will not go above 8.25 percent, and also that the interest rates would be locked for the life of the loan.

Here's a video of Senator Manchin explaining the bill:

SenatorJoeManchin on YouTube

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are pushing for a one-year extension of the low 3.4 percent interest rate in order to give Congress time to hammer out a long-term solution. It's unclear whether another extension will get Republican support, since GOP members say they only agreed to the extension last year in order to make time for a more permanent, budget-friendly solution.

Here, make yourself feel better and sign this petition.