With thousands of Massachusetts high school students recently graduating and receiving their diplomas, many are looking forward to their next challenge: going to college this fall. But as we all know, tuition is skyrocketing and student loan debt now surpasses all other kinds of consumer debt. Congress should be doing everything in its power to make college more affordable for students and their families.
Yet, right now, unless Congress acts before July 1, interest rates on a particular student loan will double from 3.4% to 6.8%. That's unacceptable, and it will result in more than 7 million student borrowers having to pay an additional $1,000 over the life of their loan. Many of us believe that we should take immediate action to stop the doubling of the rate. I have supported several responsible solutions to address this urgent challenge, including one that Senator Warren and I have championed that allows students to borrow for one year at the same rate provided to the big banks.
However, as important as it is that we stop the doubling of this particular interest rate, I strongly believe we must not stop there. Congress must provide a fair and long-term solution for all student loan rates on new and existing loans. We must not forget the estimated 37 million federal student borrowers stuck with exorbitant interest rates who are struggling to make monthly payments. Other important issues, including the restoration of consumer protections, also must be addressed as Congress works to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.
I will keep pressing all of these important issues in the weeks and months ahead, and I want to know what you think. So before the July 1st deadline, please consider taking this survey and let me know if you think student loan interest rates should double.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
John F. Tierney
Member of Congress
P.S. As you may know, today was a monumental day for civil rights and equality. The Supreme Court struck down the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act and restored marriage equality to California.
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