Fight to keep interest rates down on student loans
  • Petitioned Tell Harry Reid

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Tell Harry Reid

Fight to keep interest rates down on student loans

    1. Sponsored by

      <span>CREDO Action</span>

This is unbelievable. The interest rates on federal student loans will double this summer if Congress doesn't take action.

Urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: FIGHT to stop Republicans from doubling the interest rate on student loans.

Millions of American students from working class families are able to obtain a college education thanks to low-interest federal student loans. But now Congress is putting those loans in serious jeopardy at a time when students and their families can least afford to pay higher interest rates.

Back in 2007, when the Democrats were in charge of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. It reduced the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans incrementally over four academic years, from 6.8 percent at the time to the current 3.4 percent. The current Republican leadership in the House is planning to let this legislation expire on July 1, effectively doubling the interest rates on these loans. This will result in an average of $5,000 in additional payments for students who are scheduled to pay their loans backs in 5 years, and $11,000 for those who are paying back in 10.

With Republicans in the House poised to double the interest on federal student loans, we need leadership from the Senate. Specifically, we need Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to stand up and fight on behalf of millions of American students:

Urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: FIGHT to stop Republicans from doubling the interest rate on student loans.

If Leader Reid leads the Democratic-controlled Senate to move first and take steps to pass legislation that ensures the interest rates remain fixed at 3.4 percent, it will force the hand of Congressional Republicans to either pass the measure or go on the record as the party fighting against the interest of millions of America's working class students and their families. But we need both the House and the Senate to pass it before July 1, so we need to convey our sense of urgency to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today.

Federal student loans with low interest rates, such as the subsidized Stafford loan, are designed to benefit students whose families make under $40,000 a year -- folks who can least afford to see their interest rates jump.4 These loans help the neediest students, who are often not eligible to receive Pell Grants. Adding further financial stress on these students and their families by letting the interest rates double this July would be devastating, especially given the extremely fragile state of our economy.

Urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: FIGHT to stop Republicans from doubling the interest rate on student loans.

As Sarah Jaffe observed in her excellent piece in AlterNet:

"It's worth noting, as well, that many of the big banks that make a killing on private student loans and still have billions of government-subsidized student debt on their books, are able to borrow money from the government through the Federal Reserve's discount window at nearly no interest at all. Why, then, are young people, who aren't guilty of trashing the economy but remain the victims of a rate of unemployment nearly twice that of the rest of the population, expected to pay more?"

Now is the time for all of us to speak up on behalf of our students. Sign the petition and consider inviting students from your personal network to join the fight.

Urge Senator Reid to fight to keep college education affordable and not let the interest rate double on federal student loans.

To:
Tell Harry Reid
Do not let the interest rate double on federal student loans. Extend the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, keeping college education affordable for the 99%.http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-sen-majority-leader-harry-reid-fight-to-keep-interest-rates-down-on-student-loans/edit

Sincerely,
[Your name]

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    1. Reached 8,000 signatures

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    Reasons for signing

    • Tommy Kilbane AVON, OH
      • over 2 years ago

      Hello Harry Reid,

      I agree with the points that you made.I also feel that with the interest rates on student loans set to double on July 1 it will make it even harder to pay off those loans, and also make the decision harder on those who must choose whether to attend college or go straight into the work force.

      Would you mind reading my blog at http://tommykilbane.blogspot.com/? I would like to have your perspective.

      Tommy Kilbane

      tk663111@ohio.edu

      The Green Room at Ohio University

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • michele davidson LAS VEGAS, NV
      • over 2 years ago

      young friends & family will be devastated by this increase

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    • Kristen Wallerius EMERSON, NJ
      • over 2 years ago

      I am 27 years old. Due to many variables resulting from this poor economy, I have taken to providing a rented apartment for myself, my mother, and my 24 year old brother. With $42,000 remaining in student loan debt (thankfully, a fraction of what some of my friends owe), and on a biweekly paycheck of $1,160, I must somehow afford to keep a roof over my family's heads and pay all of the other bills, including my MINIMUM student loan payment of $302.80 each month. Thank goodness my interest rate has been 3.4%, and not higher.

      Leader Reid, please help me, and all of the other college graduates soon to be in similar situations.

      College education is no longer affordable. At least a low interest rate makes higher education within reach for many. Increase this rate, and promising students who are already scraping to get by will never have the opportunity to earn a college degree. Ultimately, this will deprive our already weak job force of new, well qualified prospective employees. Keep the rate down. Get us out of this bitter economic slump!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • joseph morgan ROSCOE, IL
      • over 2 years ago

      Times are hard, last year I only made $7,000 while working through college. I am basically the underclass of America, and getting through college is the only way for me to rise above that. Student loans have helped me survive these hard times. It's gonna be hard for me to pay for them after school, and it's gonna be even harder for me to pay for them if they go up!!!

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    • Donna Jackson CONCORD, NC
      • over 2 years ago

      We live in a society that is well aware of the importance of a college education. We should not penalize our youth with high interest rates on their pursuance of a college degree. Instead, we should and have to, allow our young men and women the afordability of loans with reasonable interest rates. It is critical to the future of the country and to the world in general for our youth to dream and act apon such dreams with their college education. I implore congress to take action and stop those who are in essence robbing the young men and women of a dream, and of money they haven't begun to make yet.

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