The current 3.4 percent interest rate has now doubled to 6.8 percent for the fall 2013 school year. The Senate had the option to lower the rate, but was in recess at the July 1 deadline and failed to make the decision. However, Congress has the ability to change this rate if it choses to pursue further discussion about the matter.
The increase in interest rate might not sound like a huge amount, but for a loan that accumulates over 10 years, the amount of interest will be drastic. For example, the average Georgia Southern University student accumulates $23,427 worth of debt. With 6.8 percent interest, $23,427 would turn into $32,351, thus leaving students to pay $8,924 of just interest. This is a mountainous amount of debt, and students need to get involved and talk to their local senator in order to get the attention of Congress.
Congress should prioritize the issue of student interest rates, and if more students express their opinions about this issue, Congress might prioritize this issue. While students are encouraged to use the hashtag “DontDoubleMyRate” on Twitter, they should also take the initiative and express their concerns directly to the Senate in order to be taken seriously. Georgia’s senators are Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. Chambliss can be reached at 416 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510, and his main phone number is 202-224-3521. Isakson can be reached at 131 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC, 20510, and his D.C. phone number is 202-224-3643.