Congress votes to stop student loan interest rates from doubling

Brittany Wools isn’t sure how big of a loan she’ll need to take out to finance her college education, but she’s glad Congress acted in time to keep the interest rates on whatever she ends up needing down.

“It could be a lot of money,” Wools, 18, of Detroit, a freshman-to-be at Wayne State University, said while walking on campus earlier this week. “Anything that saves me money is good.”

Congress had to act by Sunday to keep the interest rates on any new federal-subsidized Stafford loans granted after July 1 from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Projections were that the average student would have had to pay $1,000 more a year. A measure capping rates for another year cleared the House on a 373-52 vote.

The Senate approved the bill shortly after the House on a 74-19 vote.

“Making college more affordable and accessible for all of our children is one of my top priorities, that’s why I spent months leading the fight to stop Republicans from letting student loan interest rates double on July 1st,” said U.S. Rep Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Twp., one of co-sponsors of the Courtney-Peters bill that capped the interest rate. “I’m proud to help announce that by building a strong grassroots coalition, we were successfully able to pass an agreement. While there is still a lot of work left to do to make college more affordable, this deal is a step in the right direction.”

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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