Legislators Come Up Short: Student Loan Rates Double

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Interest rates for student loans have doubled.

The House and Senate failed to come up with a compromised bill during this past session, so the subsidized Stafford Loan rates jumped today from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Some 7 million students across the nation use them, including about 200,000 in Minnesota.

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken co-sponsored a bill that would have extended the lower rate for a year, but it failed to pass.

“It’s especially important to a Minnesota Senator,” Franken said. “We have the distinction of having the third highest level of debt for our students who graduate — $30,000.”

Republicans are proposing that loan interest rates are tied to the rate of U.S. borrowing.

A vote to restore the lower rate is scheduled for July 10.

Franken said at that time the rate can be retroactively readjusted.

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