Congress needs to cap student loan interest to 2%

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Federal student loans interest rates for the 2017-2018 school year range from 4.45% to 7%. As of July, 2006, all federal student loans have fixed interest for the life of the  loan. Although rates are reevaluated by Congress every year, the interest rates on existing loans will not be affected.

Stafford loans for undergraduates in 2017-2018 came with interest rates of 4.45%. The Stafford loan rate for graduate students is 6%. Stafford Loans are the most common type of federal student loan. If your Stafford loan is subsidized (based on financial need) rather than unsubsidized, it does not begin accruing interest until after you leave school.

Students from low-income families could qualify for Perkins loans. These loans have a fixed interest rate of 5%, making them a bit more manageable. They do not accrue interest while you are attending school.

Parents and graduate students may be eligible for PLUS loans, another type of federal student loan. At 7%, these have the highest interest rate of any federal student loan.

It should be noted that there is an aggregate limit to how much money students may borrow on federal loans. Undergraduates can only borrow $57,500 in total and no more than $23,000 of that can be a subsidized loan. Graduate students may borrow $138,500 and no more than $65,500 can be subsidized.

College is one of the few avenues that many people in the US have to raise their economic earning potential. Within a lifetime, a college graduate tends to make a million dollars more than a high school graduate. For people living in poverty, a college education or trade school is critical to obtain a career that will lead to economic prosperity. Every year, rising college costs are making the ability to obtain a degree or trade less likely for the people who need it the most. People of lesser means are more likely to need student loans to attend college. 

Therefore, I am asking Congress and the President of the United States to cap student loan interest at 2%. There is no viable reason that Americans should have to pay upwards of 7% on student loans. While we wait for Congress to come up with a solution to the student loan crisis, Congress and the President should at least provide necessary relief by capping student loan interest.