Wants student debt rates kept low

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 12, 2013 

The cost of college has increased 440 percent over the past 25 years, students are graduating with an average of $26,000 in college loans, and student loan debt is now at more than the nation's combined credit card debt ($1 trillion!). But it could get even worse. Congress is on the verge of letting student loan interest rates double. On July 1, interest on subsidized student loans will double when legislation enacted in 2006 to lessen the burden on students expires. There are many Democrat sponsored pieces of legislation stuck in committee in the House of Representatives to remedy this, but they have little chance of getting anywhere, with a Republican chair in the House Education Committee. Our Senator, Patty Murray, co-sponsored a bill that would have extended the lower interest rates for two years. This bill died in the senate in early June because it could not achieve cloture (showing that it could withstand filibuster.) Senator Elizabeth Warren is sponsoring legislation that would make student loan interest the same as the rate that the Federal Reserve lends money to banks, or .75 percent. Warren has created an online petition that you can sign to show your support for this important bill at http://bit.ly/1c9xxee. Students are graduating saddled with debt. Many can not find work in their fields. College should not create indentured servants of our young people.

Debbie Cantrell

Bellingham

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