Congressman Peters Helps Pass Bipartisan Student Loan Rate Deal
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Peters (CA-52) joined with his colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass a bipartisan compromise that will lower student loan interest rates on federal Stafford loans after they rose to 6.8% on July 1st. The Senate passed this legislation last week and it now heads to President Obama’s desk for signature into law.
“Now is the time to be making college more affordable, not less,” Congressman Peters said. “Students should not be denied the opportunity to invest in their educations and improve the quality of life for themselves and their families solely because they could not afford to pay for it upfront.
“This bill, while not perfect, represents a bipartisan compromise that has aspects acceptable to both sides of the aisle. Most important, it is an all-too-rare example of Congress putting partisanship aside to do the right thing for the American people.”
The bill, H.R. 1911 as amended by the Senate, brings interest rates down immediately by tying them to the 10-year Treasury note plus 2.05% for undergraduates. Graduate and PLUS loans will have higher percentage additions. These changes also apply retroactive to July 1st, 2013 when the rates doubled. Further, this bill places a cap on how high interest rates can rise, 8.25% for undergraduate loans. Unlike other proposals this version also provides that the loans are fixed through the life of the loan. These provisions give students and their families a stable picture of the costs associated with the loans.
Congressman Peters had sent multiple letters to Speaker of the House Boehner over the past three months calling for action to stop student loan rates from doubling, and spoke out on the House floor regarding the issue as well. He also held a press conference at San Diego Mesa College with Rep. Juan Vargas & Rep. Susan Davis to highlight the impact that doubled rates would have had on students and their families.