House Sends Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act to President's Desk

Washington, Aug 2, 2013 -

College tuition has been climbing rapidly for decades. As a result, students and their families have been forced to take increasing amounts of student loans to achieve the dream of a college education. To help ease the burden, a law was enacted in 2007 that gradually reduced the fixed interest rates on newly originated subsidized Stafford Loans for undergraduate students from 6.8% in July 2006 to 3.4% for the 2011-2012 school year, after which the rate would return to 6.8%. While the House of Representatives took action earlier this summer to extend the 3.4% rate, failure by the Senate to act in a timely manner resulted in the doubling of student loan rates on July 1, 2013.

I was pleased to vote this week for a bipartisan compromise that will provide greater certainty in the establishment of student loan rates. In his Fiscal Year 2014 budget proposal, President Obama called for moving federal student loan rates to a market-based system. On Wednesday, the House overwhelmingly passed legislation that does just that by tying federal student loans interest rates to market rates. To protect students against high and fluctuating interest rates, the compromise legislation establishes reasonable rate caps and establishes fixed rates for the period of the loan. As this legislation heads towards the President’s desk for his signature, I will continue to work to help increase educational opportunities for students in the Inland Empire and our nation.

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