Congressional gridlock creates doubling of student loan rates

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WASHINGTON -- Federal student loan rates are set to double on July 1st. Lawmakers have known about the deadline for a year.

But another one of those paralyzing deadlocks in the U.S. Senate is preventing a resolution. There are not enough votes on either side in the U.S. Senate to fix this by Monday, so senators gave up and went home for the holiday.

Meanwhile, some college students marched to the Capitol with two days 'til the deadline Federal student loans will go from 3.4 percent to 6.8 Monday

It's gonna be a lot harder for me to pay and it's gonna be impossible to pay it for a lot of people i know, said college student Jim Fellinger.

House republican leader Eric Cantor reminded students that the house approved lower rates in May.
"Students of this country have a right to quality education and they shouldn't be burdened by ever spiraling interest rates on their student loan," Cantor said.

But the republican plan has adjustable rates. Democrats today called that worse than nothing.

"A bill that will put kids into a variable rate system that we know over time will be higher than 6.8%, said democratic Congressman Joe Courtney of Connecticut.

When President Obama warned of the deadline in may he called for a fixed rate so, he said, families could make long term plans. That costs a bit more, say senate democrats, but it's worth more they say than overly beefing up the U.S. border.

Some of those who have not wanted to spend 4.6 billion on the future for students were willing to spend 40 billion on a fence, " said democratic senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

It's not just rates that are the problem. College costs are rising so fast students need bigger loans.

"If you over borrow whether your interest rates are 4% or 7% you're still going to encounter difficulties, jack Remondi of Sallie Mae said.

But lower rates help and on Monday they'll be twice as high as today. Democrats in the senate say if they approve lower rates in July or later, they can make them retroactive, but so far there's no sign of a deal on the issue.

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