Today, Congressman Sires joined his colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing legislation by a vote of 373-52 to extend the current student loan interest rate of 3.4% for one year. Without Congressional action, the rate would have doubled to 6.8% by July 1st.
"Now is not the time to financially burden our students who are seeking higher education," said Congressman Sires. "Young adults have the highest unemployment rate of any group, and we have finally come together across the aisle to let them know that we are investing in their futures."
In 2007, Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act that reduced the fixed rate on subsidized Stafford student loans for undergraduate students from 6.8% to 3.4% over a four year period, and on July 1, 2012, this fixed rate was scheduled to expire. H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, included a provision that blocked the rate hike and is fully paid for. Loan rates for over seven million college students would have doubled, and each year of inaction by Congress would have cost a student borrower approximately $1,000 in additional payments.
"An estimated 143,892 New Jersey students are expected to take advantage of student loans, and through this legislation," said Sires. "While I would prefer that this extension be for a longer period of time, many New Jersey students will benefit from the 3.4% student loan interest rate over this upcoming year."