Interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans are set to double on July 1, 2013 if Congress takes no action. Republicans and Democrats have been unable to come to a compromise that does not put the financial burden squarely on the future of students.
While some groups have mobilized to put pressure on Congress to keep the interest rate low, it is up to each individual student to make his or her wishes known to Congress and the President of the United States.
Senator Orrin Hatch can be reached at 801-524-4380.
President Obama can be reached at 202-456-1111.
MoveOn.org is organizing a day of action on June 27 with students gathering on campuses, in front of Fannie Mae offices and in other areas that have high visibility, and has an online petition to lower interest rates with almost 450,000 signatures.
They are arguing that students should get the same loan rate that the banks get “through the Federal Reserve discount window,” which is set at about .75 percent. Senator Elizabeth Warren has backed the idea with the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act.
House Republicans have proposed a bill that adds 2.5 percent to the base interest rate on 10-year treasury notes. This would result in a percentage rate higher than the current 3.4 percent and would be capped at 8.5 percent.
Congressman Jim Matheson has already come out in support of not raising rates. Other representatives did not return phone calls.
Students who want to keep student interest rates from doubling or worse should contact their Congressmen and Senators, as well as President Obama.