U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today made the following statement after Senate Republicans blocked legislation that she is co-sponsoring to stop student loan interest rates from doubling. Unless Congress acts by July 1, Stafford student loan interest rates will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, increasing the cost of earning a degree for over 300,000 Michigan students and their families. The Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2012 would prevent this from happening by keeping the current interest rates for an additional year. The average Michigan student has $25,675 in student debt.
"I am deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans voted to allow student loan interest rates to double and pile even more higher education costs on middle-class families and students," said Senator Stabenow. "At a time when Michigan families are struggling to make ends meet, we need to be making college more affordable for students and their parents. Congress needs to come together and pass common-sense legislation that will stop student loan interest rates from doubling this summer without adding a dime to the deficit."
Senator Stabenow championed legislation in 2007 that cut student loan interest rates to 3.4 percent. If the interest rate doubles, the average student will rack up an additional $1,000 in debt over the life of each of their loans.
In 2010, Senator Stabenow led the effort to reform the student loan program and expand college access. These reforms made lending initiatives more efficient, reduced the deficit, and increased Pell Grant funding to make college more affordable for students and middle-class families.