By Jueseppi B.
So far, we can’t get a cut. But it’s worse than that.
Today, interest rates on new student loans will double to 6.8%, yet Republicans continue to block a vote to keep rates at the current 3.4% for another year. Instead, at a time when the government is scheduled to make obscene profits on federal student loans — $51 billion this year — Republicans have proposed their own plan to increase government profits even more.
We will not play chicken with our students’ future. That’s why my colleagues and I, led by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Kay Hagan (D-NC), have introduced the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act, to lock in the current 3.4% interest rate for one more year as we continue to push for real, long-term reform. On July 10, the Senate will vote on this proposal.
There’s a fundamental question here: Should we be investing in our students who want to build a better future for themselves and their families, or should the government be profiting at their expense?
One year is just a short-term patch. But we need the time to fight the bigger fight.
In the long-term, we need to address the $1.1 trillion dollars in existing debt, to bring exploding college costs under control, and to stop treating our students as a profit center for our government.
DFA members have done amazing work. You’ve called Senators, written letters, and brought new leading educators on board. We are on the right side on this issue, and I know that if we push harder, in time we will win the day.
But with the deadline now passed, our students shouldn’t pay for Congress’s failure to act. Allowing rates to double this summer, or passing the costly Republican plan, would add billions to the already enormous debt burden our students suffer.
Holding interest rates at 3.4% now gives us the time to craft a real solution, one that offers real relief and real reform.
Thank you for being a part of this,