Now Is Time To Weigh In On Student Loans

Dave Johnson

The clock is ticking. Without action by Congress student loan rates double at the end of the month — less than two weeks. If you don’t want student loan rates to go up or even double, contact your member of Congress today.

Please click this link and call your two senators immediately and say: “No deal that lets student loan interest rates increase any more. Support Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bill to let students borrow at the same cheap rate as the banks.”

“Shocking To Contemplate”

Education helps the country and the economy. So it shouldn’t be extremely expensive, leaving students with crushing debt. A reasonable country would make sure students can go to school at low cost for its own good as well as the good of its citizens.

But as Richard Eskow explains in “9 Ways the Right’s Cradle to Grave “Randian State” Is An Assault on Millennials”: “Median family incomes have risen by 147% since then, while college tuition and fees rose 439%, a tripling of education costs in real dollar terms. … The student debt situation for Millennials would be morally unconscionable even if rates remain at current levels. Anything else is shocking to contemplate.”

“Shocking to contemplate.” And to make matters (much) worse, student loan debt has doubled in just the last five years.

Weigh In Now

Now is the time for you to weigh in.

Here are the positions. Republicans want student loan rates to double to “market rates” plus a bit, so the government can make a profit from the loans. They say that if government helps students, even a little bit on interest rates, it is “government spending” and therefore must not happen.

Democrats like Sen. Warren want the government to loan money to students at the same rate the Fed loans money to the big banks – 0.75 percent. Democratic Sens. Tom Harkin (Iowa), Jack Reed (R.I.), Harry Reid (Nev.) and Patty Murray (Wash.) introduced a bill to just extend current interest rates another two years. (See The June Fight Over Student Loans for details on all the plans.)

This is Sen. Warren explaining her Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-4FhsyvJdM[/youtube]

Republicans want student loan rates to increase. Democrats like Warren want to lower them to the same rate the big banks get. The inside word is that Congress is getting ready to reach a compromise. If a deal is about to be cut, now is the time to weigh in.

Coming To A Head – What About The Public?

This is coming to a head with the end-of-month deadline impending. If nothing is done, rates just double, period. Obviously CAF supports the Warren plan to set loan rates the same as the rate the government gives to the big banks. When you call your member of Congress and senators say that at the very least they should extend the current 3.4 percent rate for another two years, and then maybe we can do what California did – get the obstructionist Republicans out of the legislature and get the country moving again.

Oh, and one more thing. The public agrees: 83 percent of the public wants to keep student loan rates from increasing (same numbers for both parties) and almost two-thirds support lowering interest rates to 0.75 percent (with 56 of Republicans for that).

Does it matter to Congress what the public wants and needs? Call and let them know if you think it should.

The clock is ticking.

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