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July 9, 2013 | By Marina Villeneuve
WASHINGTON - Antonya Bruno, a senior at Howard University, has used the maximum amount of federal loans over the last three years to help pay her steadily climbing tuition. "It's been very helpful," she said, happy that she has avoided taking out more expensive private loans. Because of a political stalemate, however, Bruno will see the interest rate on her new loans double to 6.8% unless Congress can pass a retroactive fix. It could add $1,000 over the life of her loans, and cost new students four times as much.
July 2, 2013 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Interest rates on some student loans doubled to nearly 7% Tuesday after Congress failed to reach a last-minute compromise. The interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans jumped from 3.4% to 6.8% but could be reduced when lawmakers return from the Fourth of July holiday. Lawmakers from both parties, as well as the White House, vowed to lower that rate before students start signing loan documents this fall. The rate now stands higher than that of most loans available from private lenders, the Associated Press reported.
June 28, 2013 | By Jon Healey
Congress racked up another F this week, failing to stop a looming increase in student loan interest rates that both parties say they oppose. Friday will be the last day for college students of modest means to obtain a federal loan at the ultra-low interest rate of 3.4%, at least for a while. The rate jumps to 6.8% Monday for new subsidized Stafford loans, a type of loan available only to students from low- and moderate-income families. Lawmakers missed the interest rate deadline despite the fact that they had a pair of thoughtful proposals for how to proceed.
June 28, 2013 | By Michael Memoli
WASHINGTON - U.S. senators headed home for a Fourth of July recess without passing a bill that would prevent interest rates from doubling on student loans next week, leading to a ramp-up of political finger-pointing. Last year, Democrats used the looming increase in the cost of student loans to great political effect, pressuring Republicans in an election year and rallying young voters in support of President Obama's campaign. Now, as a temporary extension of discounted interest rates is set to lapse, Democrats are at odds with one another over the issue, with the party's leaders privately grumbling about a White House proposal nearer to Republicans' solution than their own. So Republicans are happily turning the political heat on Democrats.
June 25, 2013 | Michael Hiltzik
The student debt crisis is one of those issues that concentrates the minds of both parties in Congress. That's why there are at least half a dozen legislative proposals circulating in Washington to forestall a doubling of interest rates on many federal student loans scheduled to take effect July 1. But it doesn't explain why almost all those proposals ignore the one remedy to graduates' loan burdens that would make their squabbling over an interest-rate...
June 22, 2013 | By Adam B. Wolf
Cable news channels regularly stoke their viewers' fears about China holding $1.1 trillion of U.S. debt. But they're focused on the wrong $1.1 trillion of loans. The borrowers of this other $1.1-trillion debt are far more likely to default on their obligations: students, particularly those who went to for-profit colleges. The global consequences could be - and likely will be - staggering. More than 38 million Americans have student loans outstanding. To put this in perspective, 38 million is the combined population of New York and Florida.
June 21, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
In the latest episode of Congressional Groundhog Day, lawmakers are caught once again in a partisan stalemate with time running out. This time, the interest rate on the most popular form of student loan will double if Congress fails to act by July 1. That's an outcome no one wants. The twist is that, instead of picking another fight with Democrats over how to cover the cost of the program, Republicans are backing a long-term solution that's similar to one President Obama proposed in his latest budget.
June 18, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
Student loan debt has nearly doubled in the last five years, posing a potential risk to the economy, according to a new report from Congress . The information, released Tuesday by the Joint Economic Committee, found that student loans increased from $550 billion in late 2007 to just under $1 trillion in the first quarter of 2013. Two-thirds of recent graduates have student loans, with an average balance of more than $27,000. New borrowers could face additional costs in their higher education pursuits unless Congress acts to keep interest rates for federally subsidized Stafford loans from doubling from 3.4% to 6.8% for new loans starting July 1, the report said.
June 6, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - With student loan rates set to double in about four weeks, competing proposals to prevent the increase were defeated in back-to-back Senate votes Thursday, leaving the issue unresolved. The failed measures leave lawmakers snarled in a familiar debate that has divided the parties but has not attracted the attention it did a year ago when it became part of the presidential campaign. The House voted last month on a proposal that would tie interest rates for Stafford loans to the Treasury's 10-year borrowing rates, which Republican sponsors said was in line with principles outlined by the Obama administration.
June 3, 2013 | By Larry Gordon
While more California college students are taking on larger education loans, that investment is paying off with better-paying jobs after graduation compared to young people without a bachelor's degree, a new study finds. The “economic returns of attaining a bachelor's degree are, on average, quite large regardless of major," said the report by the Public Policy Institute of California. "Average loan debts are relatively low in comparison with the average economic returns to earning a college degree; consequently, paying back student loans should not pose a huge financial problem for the typical college graduate.”  A typical California worker with only a high school diploma can expect to earn about $1 million over a 40-year work life, compared to $1.9 million for someone with a bachelor's degree, according to the study.  Unemployment rates are much higher for young people without a bachelor's compared to college graduates.
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