Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) joined with other members of the House of Representatives in introducing the Student Loan Affordability Act, which would prevent student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1st. The bill would extend the current low interest rate for Stafford student loans at 3.4% for two additional years. Unless Congress takes action, the student loan interest rate will double to 6.8% on July 1st.
If student loan interest rates were to double, this would mean a student taking out the maximum Stafford student loan of $23,000 would pay an additional $11,000 of interest over the 20 year repayment period of the loan.
Today's action from Bustos follows last week's "Communities Working Together For Jobs" tour across the 17th Congressional District of Illinois. During this week-long tour of the seven community colleges that serve the region, Bustos learned more about the ways local community colleges and businesses are coming together to address the skills gap, increase American manufacturing and put people back to work.
"As the mother to three sons, I know firsthand how important a quality and affordable education is to building a middle class life," said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. "College affordability was a major topic of conversation on my tour of the seven community colleges that serve our district last week, and that is why today I joined with my colleagues in introducing a bill to keep student loan interest rates from doubling in two months. The colleges and universities in our region offer a pathway to success to many, so I'll continue to do everything I can to help make them affordable and accessible for all."
In 2007, Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which lowered federally subsidized Stafford student loan rates from 6.8% to 3.4%. This act originally expired on July 1, 2012. Last June, Congress passed a bipartisan compromise to extend the low student loan rates through July 1, 2013.