Rep. Chu Comments on Deal to Keep Student Loan Rates Low

Press Release

By:  Judy Chu
Date: June 29, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Following a deal reached by Congressional leaders to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling, Congresswoman Judy Chu released the following statement:

"I am thrilled that Congress finally acted to ensure interest rates don't spike on students come July 1st. This isn't just about helping young Americans as they start off in life -- keeping these rates low also helps families as they struggle to provide the education that will ensure a bright future for their children. While it is certainly good news that students will be spared a costly rate hike, the lack of leadership on this issue from Congressional Republicans has been appalling. Younger generations of Americans were counting on Congress to act responsibly; by stalling until the last possible moment and prioritizing tax cuts for yacht owners over student interest rates, the GOP let the future leaders of our society down."

In 2007, Congress passed the historic College Cost Reduction and Access Act, setting the interest rate for Stafford student loans at 3.4 percent for undergraduate students. Those rates were set to expire on July 1st, bringing interest rates back to 6.8 percent for more than 7.4 million students and potentially costing them more than $6 billion over the next decade.

Congresswoman Chu has consistently fought rate hikes for student loans, joining fellow Democrats to support HR 3826 -- a bill to keep rates at 3.4 percent -- as well as urging her Senate counterparts to act on this vital issue.

Funding to extend low interest rates on student loans was ultimately included in the Conference Report of H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012.