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Increases in loan interest rate opposed by ASI Senate

The Associated Students Inc. Senate passed a resolution on behalf of the Cal State Student Association that took a position in accordance with President Barack Obama’s push for Congress to maintain the Stafford Loan interest rate at 3.4 percent.

The student loan interest rate used to be at 6.8 percent until the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 was passed.

This act implemented a four-year plan to lower that rate to today’s 3.4 percent.

However, this plan expires July 1, and it would raise the interest rate back to 6.8 percent.

ASI Vice President Stephen Thomas authored the resolution. It was presented to the Senate and was passed on its first, second and third reading Wednesday.

During the reading, ASI President Lucy Nguyen and Cal State Long Beach President F. King Alexander spoke on the importance of the resolution.

Student loan debt in the United States has grown to more than $1 trillion, according to the resolution.

“The resolution clearly shows that student loan debt exceeds all other debt besides home mortgage debt,” Alexander said.

Subsidized Stafford Student Loans are funded by the federal government and provide students with interest-free loans until six months after graduation.

Stafford Loans are supposed to be at a fixed rate.

They are also one of the lowest-cost ways to pay for school.

An increase in the student loan interest rate to 6.8 percent would prove harmful to the economic interests and opportunities of college and university graduates, especially during a period of national economic recovery, according to the resolution.

The resolution encourages officials and students to support federal legislative action before July 1 to maintain the student loan interest rate at 3.4 percent.

“Rising tuition costs coupled with increasing student loan interest rate, means that our college and university graduates would take longer to pay off their loans,” Nguyen said.

 

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