Student loan interest rates are poised to double come July 1 if Congress does not act, and that doesn’t sit well with members of the Florida College Democrats.
“It’s kicking the students while they’re down,” said Colton Canton, president of the organization’s arm at the University of South Florida.
As outstanding loan debt hits the $1 trillion mark, members of the Florida College Democrats visited the offices of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, Monday, asking him to help keep rates low. Canton and two other members of the group, unannounced, knocked on the door of Rubio’s office off Fowler Avenue to make their plea.
What do you think? Should interest rates on student loans be locked in by Congress? Let us know in the comments section.
U.S. lawmakers are currently floating two separate plans — split along party lines —to keep interest rates locked in at today’s 3.4 percent, according to Fox News. Neither of those plans seems to have enough support to move forward. Even so, analysts think a stop-gap measure will be put into place to prevent loan rates from doubling on July 1, Fox reports.
“We want to urge Rubio to vote in a bipartisan manner,” Canton said before meeting with Ash Mason, special assistant to Rubio for the Gulf Coast Region. “I don’t think this is the right direction for the country to head in.”
Both sides in Washington say they want to prevent an interest-rate hike, according to Reuters. The problem, however, is Democrats want to plug the financial hole by ending certain tax breaks dealing with S-corporations while Republicans want to do so by taking money from Obama’s healthcare reform law.
Mason told the students that he would pass on their concerns to Rubio.
“We don’t want the rates to go up,” said Mason, adding Rubio is the only sitting senator still paying off student loans. “It’s just a matter of how we find the funding for it.”
Canton pressed Mason for an answer on whether the need to freeze rates was ultimately more important than from where the funding came. Mason eventually said that, yes, it is more important.
The group of students, which also included Emmanuel Catalan and Tom Morgan, said they were pleased with the treatment and response of Rubio’s office. Florida College Democrats also went to Rubio’s offices in Miami, Jacksonville, Orlando and Palm Beach on Monday.
Writer Sherri Lonon contributed to this report.