Higgins Calls for Immediate Action to Keep Student Loan Interest Rates Low
Apr 26, 2012
Congressman Brian Higgins took to the House Floor today to advocate for Congressional action to keep student loan interest rates at the 3.4 percent rate legislated by Congress in 2007. This cut would expire in July of this year without legislative action.
In Western New York, 62,000 students would be affected by an increase in student loan interest rates. Maximum loan borrowers could see a $3,800 payment increase over a 10 year repayment period.
Higgins is a cosponsor of H.R. 3826, which would permanently extend the reduced 3.4 percent interest rate for student loans, and H.R. 4816, Stop the Rate Hike Act, which would keep the student loans interest rate at 3.4 percent for an additional year, paid for by repealing tax breaks for oil and gas companies.
In 2007, Congressman Higgins joined his colleagues in Congress in passing the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which was eventually signed into law. This legislation included a provision which lowered subsidized Stafford student loan rates from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent over a four-year period through the 2011-2012 academic year.
Below are remarks made by Higgins on the House Floor:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to discuss an important issue to young America: that’s access to affordable education. Young Americans today are graduating college with a degree and also with 25,000 -- $50,000 -- $100,000 in student loan debt.
“37 million people have outstanding student loan debt totaling over $1 trillion. Two thirds of debt held by Americans under the age of 30 is student loan debt.
“In 2007 a Democratic Congress cut the interest rate on student loans in half to 3.4%. But it is set to expire this summer and allowing the interest rate to double would constitute a tax hike on students and middle America.
“In my Western New York district alone, this rate increase would affect 62,000 students.
“I urge my colleagues to take immediate action on this issue because all Americans deserve a fair shot at a good education.”