Stafford Loan Interest Rates Double

STATELINE (WIFR) -- All college students are in for a rude awakening when they go to apply for their next student loan. The interest rate for Federal Stafford Loans doubled today because congress failed to pass legislation to keep those interests rates low.

"It's kinda like a stab in the back from your federal loans because that was the point of the loans, to make it easier to pay for school," said math major, Jessica Segalla.

Segalla isn't sure if she'll take out another Federal Stafford loan. the interest rate just doubled 6.8%, meaning Segalla and every other student who takes out a new loan will be in debt that much longer.

For instance, if she takes out another $5,000 loan and takes 10 years to pay it off, she'll pay $3,400 in interest, more than half of the original loan, something Segalla finds troubling.

"It's definitely frustrating too because credit wise, because you have to pay them off right away, you can't let them sit there or your credit will suffer."

The Stateline's representatives in Washington say they've done their best to make sure students won't suffer from this rate increase.

"It's outrageous, the rates are going up 6.8 percent at a point when students are having a hard time finding jobs which is the first way to solve this problem. It's a shame that Harry Reid has refused to act," said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, (R) 16th District.

"We called on the leadership of the house to keep us in session so we could take care of this issue. We were released from doing our duties so now we've gotta go back to congress and take care of this issue," said Rep. Cheri Bustos, (D) 17th District.

The last action the House took to alter interest rates was less than two weeks ago. That bill would have increased student loan rates. Bustos voted no. Kinzinger voted yes.

The Senate did try to pass a bill to keep interest rates at 3.4%, last Saturday, but it won't be considered until Congress returns after the 4th of July break.

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