Legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow to stop student loan interest rates from doubling passed the U.S. Senate today by a vote of 74-19. If Congress had not acted by July 1, Stafford student loan interest rates would have doubled 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 will prevent this from happening by keeping the current interest rates for an additional year. The average Michigan student has $25,675 in student debt.
"At a time when middle-class families are struggling to make ends meet, we need to be making college more affordable for Michigan students and their parents," said Stabenow. "With higher education costs already rising, Congress should not be piling even more costs on students and families. I'm glad members of both parties came together to pass common-sense legislation to stop student loan interest rates from doubling this summer without adding a dime to the deficit. We need to be making it easier, not harder, for students to achieve a college education."
Senator Stabenow championed legislation in 2007 that cut student loan interest rates to 3.4 percent. If the interest rate had been allowed to double, the average student would have racked up an additional $1,000 in debt over the life of each of their loans.
In 2010, 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.