Washington - With 12 days until the interest rate is set to double on new federally guaranteed student loans, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D- 2nd District, told conference-goers here Monday that he is hopeful Congress will pass some version of his bill to avoid the rate hike.
If lawmakers do not act, the interest rate on subsidized Stafford Loans for the 2012-13 academic year would jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent July 1, returning to its earlier level. A 2007 law, now expiring, gradually reduced the interest rate on this type of loan, which is offered to low- and moderate-income undergraduates.
In an interview with The Day, Courtney said he sees reasons for optimism in a recent proposal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, that identifies a new and, hopefully, less controversial way involving pension fund payments to offset the $6 billion cost of keeping the current rates for another year.
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