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President to Sign Bill Preventing Student Loan Interest Rates from Doubling

For Immediate Release

Statement of Rich Williams, U.S. PIRG Higher Education Advocate, on the signing of bipartisan legislation to prevent subsidized Stafford student loan interest rates from doubling:

“Students can breathe a sigh of relief today.  At least for the next year, student strapped with debt will get a temporary reprieve from doubling interest rates on their loans borrowed next year.

“President Obama has been a tireless champion for making crucial investments in student aid programs.  Preventing student loan interest rates from doubling is one of many policies championed early by a President who understands debt-strapped students and families are struggling with rising college costs and an uncertain job market for graduates.

“In January, President Obama used his State of the Union address to urge Congress to come together to prevent interest rates from doubling on millions of student loans next year.  Without Congressional action, the interest rate would have doubled from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1st.  An interest rate increase would have resulted in $1,000 in additional debt for 7.5 million low and moderate-income students who borrowed new federally subsidized Stafford loans next year.  A one-year extension will provide relief until Congress can approve a longer-term measure.

“Congress passed the legislation on Friday, July 29th, with a strong bi-partisan vote.  U.S. PIRG advocates and students will attend the signing ceremony later this afternoon.”

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization.

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