Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted against an effort to more than double student loan interest rates over the next ten years. The "Smarter Solutions for Students Act" (H.R. 1911) prevents borrowers from paying fixed rates on subsidized Stafford student loans, burdening them with growing interest rates and crushing debt loads. Under H.R. 1911, today's college freshman could face about $2,000 more in interest payments alone by the time they start paying them back. According to estimates provided by non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, federal student interest rates will be higher than current fixed rates for millions of student borrowers over seven of the next ten years.
"Nationally, our students are facing a debt crisis today that will impact our economy for an entire generation," said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. "We need to take every opportunity to make college affordable and accessible, and to educate students about the true cost of their degrees. It is unacceptable to saddle our students with additional debt that will burden them financially for decades to come. We need to take immediate action to prevent any increase in interest rates and also identify long-term solutions for college affordability in the Higher Education Reauthorization process."
Without Congressional action, the interest rate on federal subsidized Stafford student loans is currently set to increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1st.