STATEMENT: CAP’s Carmel Martin and Campus Progress Director Anne Johnson on Failure to Reach a Student Loan Deal

Washington, D.C. — Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, and Anne Johnson, Director of Campus Progress, responded today to Congress’s failure to reach a compromise to prevent rates on subsidized Stafford student loans from doubling. Without a deal by July 1, more than 7 million students will see the rates on their federal Stafford loans double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Carmel Martin, CAP Executive Vice President for Policy, released the following statement:

With the July 1 deadline just five days away, time is almost up for the millions of students who rely on these loans to afford an education. Congress needs to take action to protect students and prevent rates from doubling. It is outrageous for the federal government to charge students twice as much at a time when interest rates are at historic lows. Misguided efforts to pay down the deficit on the backs of students should be rejected. We need to be doing more, not less, to ensure students can afford college and protect borrowers from unmanageable debt.

Anne Johnson, Director of Campus Progress, released the following statement:

Young Americans from around the country have been making their voices heard, telling Congress how rates doubling would hurt them and their family. Students need a long-term solution that starts with making student-loan interest rates variable, fixed at the time the loan is originated and capped at a level that is meaningful. At a minimum, Congress must enact a short-term extension of the 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans. We need Congress to come together now to pass a bill that gives students and families the help they need.

Related report: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Student-Loan Interest-Rate Changes that are Being Considered by Congress by David A. Bergeron and Tobin Van Ostern

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