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Cramer: House Completes Congressional Action on Student Loans, Bill Moves to President's Desk

Jul 31, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House approving a Senate amendment to the Smarter Solutions for Students Act. The House has now completed Congressional action on the student loan interest rate bill, sending it to President Obama for his signature:

“After the Senate acted last week, today we moved quickly in the House to agree to their changes and move the bill forward to the President’s desk. This final version gives certainty to students and parents who have been waiting on Washington to plan their education and household budgets, and will undo the rate increase which took place on July 1. I expect the President will sign this quickly so we can tackle larger problems like the rising cost of tuition and student debt.”

The interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 when the Senate did not agree to an alternative. Five weeks before the deadline, the House passed the Smarter Solutions for Students Act, to implement a market-based interest rate for all federal student loans, with the exception of Perkins loans, based on the 10-year U.S. Treasury Note. The Senate took up the House bill on July 24, and today the House agreed to the Senate’s changes.

Under the market-based rates in the bill, instead of paying the doubled rate of 6.8 percent, an undergraduate student taking out a Stafford loan this fall would pay 3.9 percent. Rates would be locked in for the lifetime of the loan, and capped for undergraduate, graduate students, and parents at 8.25 percent, 9.5 percent, and 10.5 percent respectively.

The bill now moves directly to President Obama for his signature.