Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) helped the U.S. House of Representatives pass legislation on Friday that would prevent the interest rate on federal Stafford loans from rising to 6.8 percent from their current 3.4 percent rate.
The House passed H.R. 4628, the proposed Interest Rate Reduction Act, by a 215 to 195 margin. The bill awaits action in the U.S. Senate.
"With most colleges and universities constantly raising tuition and new college graduates struggling to find jobs, no one wanted to see interest rates on Stafford loans double," Gerlach said. "It was also important to find a financially-responsible solution. A solution that does not add to our already astronomical $16 trillion national debt - a tab that ultimately will have to be paid by those graduating college this year and for years to come -- or stifle job creation by passing the costs onto businesses of all sizes."
Interest rates on Stafford loans are scheduled to rise to 6.8 percent on June 30 under legislation enacted in 2007. At that time, Congress and the President agreed to lower rates to 3.4 percent for five years.