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Rates for some federal student loans to double

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Jul 01 2013 10:57:50 PM MDT
Rates for some federal student loans to double
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Monday was the deadline for Congress to intervene on student loan interest rates. After that federally subsidized Stafford student loan rates will double from 3.4 to 6.8-percent interest.

NBC Montana did some digging to find out what this means for borrowers.

We ran the numbers on a 10-year loan for $20,000: At the old rate of 3.4 percent you would pay over $3,500 in interest. At the new rate of 6.8 percent you would pay over $7,500 in interest over the life of the loan -- more than doubling the amount of your interest paid.

We talked to Missoula residents to get their reaction to the news and ran into one University of Montana graduate student who recently finished school, and he tells us he thinks student loans are high enough.

“It's already pretty high and they just let it get even higher and they should be doing what they can to keep it low,” said Daniel Berger.  “What lawmakers ought to be doing is trying to make education more affordable.”

Berger says education is our future and he believes high interest rates are a problem that may discourage some people from going on to college. 

“That's kind of where our future is and to let this go without solving it.  It really is kind of a disgrace and I hope they get back in there and fix it soon,” he said.

Interest rates for unsubsidized Stafford loans and plus loans will not change – those interest rates will stay fixed at 6.8 and 7.9 percent.

For more details on student loan rate increases, click here.