Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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May 16, 2013

Bill would extend reduced student loan rate

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Freshmen in college are eligible for unsubsidized Stafford loans up to $3,500, while sophomores are eligible for up to $4,500 and juniors and seniors may receive loans up to $5,500 for each of the last two years of school.

The rate increase would not apply to loans that are currently in repayment or that have already been disbursed, but rather new loans that will be disbursed after July 1.

The Student Loan Affordability Act of 2013 would maintain the current interest rates for the next two years as Congress works towards a long-term solution in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, Schumer said. The cost of the bill would be offset by closing tax loopholes and not from other already strapped education programs, the senator said.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced a bill last week that would give college students the same interest rates on their federal student loans as banks do when borrowing from the Federal Reserve.

Schumer said he liked Warren’s plan, but it does not address extending the current rate before July 1. That bill is more of a long-term fix and would be more difficult to get passed before July, Schumer said.

”It’s not a sense of urgency,” he said. “But I do agree with her.”

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241 or follow him on Twitter @joeolenick.

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