Tuesday, June 11, 2013

College students fear possible interest rate hike

The clock is ticking for college students across the country who are anticipating a possible hike in student loan interest rates. The rate hike is scheduled to kick in on July 1.

It would double interest rates on students with subsidized Stafford loans from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. If Congress fails to come to an agreement, students with subsidized Stafford loans would have to pay nearly $1,000 more in interest over the life of their loan.

UIS Financial Aid Associate Director Carolyn Schloeman said the possible interest rate hike most likely won't impact future students' decisions to go to college.

"At this point, a lot of them already committed, they made their plans, and they kinda already had an idea about how they are going to pay their education for this upcoming year," said Schloeman. "They have already made their plans and got everything together, so I don't see it being a huge impact."

Shloeman said currently the interest rates are fixed on all subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Therefore, if Congress doesn't come to an agreement by July 1 of this year, only students who take out loans after the first will be affected by the higher interest rates.