Reporting Kathryn Larson
SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow is taking on the fight to retroactively reduce student loan rates that doubled at the first of the month.
On the campus of Oakland Community College in Southfield, the Democratic leader spoke out about why congress must cut the ballooning 6.8 percent Stafford loan rates back down to 3.4.
“I certainly wouldn’t make it any more than 3.4 percent then I think we’ve got to tackle long-term over a trillion dollars in debt that is held by students today,” said Sen. Stabenow. “And help them in a refinancing mechanism – just so they can be able to come out of school and be successful.”
Stabenow’s bill failed twice before due to bipartisan gridlock.
“We’ve tried twice before to bring this bill up – something similar to be able to keep rates low and it died on a partisan vote.”
She is hoping new language about keeping Stafford loans low for just a year will help the legislation pass.
“It’s very bad,” said Stabenow. “Right now students are coming out of school with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Sometimes up to a hundred thousand – you could buy a house for that. It makes no sense and it affects the kinds of decisions that students make.”
“How about- just keep the loan rate low for just a year … while we figure out a long-term solution,” she said.
The bill goes before Congress this Wednesday.