U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) voted on Thursday to prevent the interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford student loans from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1. The Student Loan Affordability Act would extend the 3.4 percent rate for another two years, closing three tax loopholes to pay for it. Senator Coons issued the following statement on his vote:
"A college education has been a critical ladder into the middle class for millions of Americans, but with the cost of college increasing at a disturbing and unsustainable rate, that education is increasingly out of reach. The affordability of a college education is inextricably linked to the accessibility of a college education. If we want to keep our economy moving forward and our nation competitive, we have to help our young people afford higher education -- before, during and after they are in school. Student loan debt has buried too many Delawareans, keeping them from investing in theirs and their family's future.
"Without Congressional action, the interest rate on Stafford Loans will double in just 25 days, forcing the average student with loans to pay an additional $1,000 per year just in interest. I am disappointed the Senate was not able to come together today to avert this abrupt increase, but am hopeful Congress will find a bipartisan and long-term path forward. Simply putting off the doubling of federal student loan interest rates is certainly not a solution to our nation's broader challenges, but it is an important step to take for the 18,000 Delawareans with subsidized Stafford loans."