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Senators: Student loan interest rates to double

  • Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, discusses a graph and legislation to try and prevent the increase in the interest rates on some student loans, Thursday, June 27, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — Student loan rates will double Monday — at least for a while — after a compromise to keep student loan interest rates low proved unwinnable before the July 1 deadline, senators said Thursday.

Sen. Tom Harkin, the chairman of the Senate education panel, said none of the proposals being circulating among lawmakers could win passage, and he urged lawmakers to extend the current rates for another year when they return from the July 4 recess. Harkin said his colleagues could retroactively restore the current rates after the holiday.

"Let's put this off for a year," Harkin, D-Iowa, told reporters.

Interest rates on new subsidized Stafford loans are set to go from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on Monday unless lawmakers take action. Congress' Joint Economic Committee estimates the increase will cost the average student $2,600.

"Neither party wants to see rates rise next week," said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.


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