WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Some student loan interest rates are expected to double this summer.
It's called the subsidized Stafford Loan. Many low- and middle-income students depend upon it in order to get a college degree.
If Congress doesn't take action now, interest rates on these loans are expected to sky-rocket by this summer.
"I guess it's not fair because it's out of my control and I'm just going to have to deal with it, but it's just really frustrating to know that the people that I've elected into office aren't doing anything to help me be able to manage that," Purdue student Katie Hensler said.
"I think that's a really awful thing that, if we can't do anything about, which I doubt we can, it's going to really make it troublesome," Purdue student Benjamin Madrid said. "I think there are probably just a lot of students who just aren't paying attention because they're not having to pay for it right now."
Incoming freshmen who borrow the maximum amount of subsidized loans, which is $23,000, would have to pay an extra $5,000 during a 10-year repayment period if the rate jumps.
But students who already have thousands of dollars out in student loans said they're already feeling the pinch and fear they won't be able to keep up, either.
"I've been in the world and have had a mortgage and a job for a long time, so I know that the payments are going to come hard and they're going to be very, very difficult," Madrid said.
During the past seven years, the average student loan debt has grown from $17,000 to $27,000 -- that's a 58 percent increase.
"With unemployment rates high and the costs of higher education spiraling, no one wants to see student loan rates increase," U.S. Representative Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) said. "Instead of more patchwork solutions, I'm working with my colleagues on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to find long-term solutions that will serve students and taxpayers better."
Students said they're hoping legislators do all they can so they don't have to dig even deeper in their pockets come payback time.
"Again, it's just really frustrating because we have no control. I mean, we elect them into office," Hensler said.
If this warning sounds like deja-vu, it is. Last year, Congress voted on a one-year abatement on raising interest rates, but that extension is about to expire.
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