Brown asks for student loan stories

Dayton Daily News

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is asking college graduates, students and their families to share their student loan stories with him via a new website, so he can tell the tales on the Senate floor as the nation’s leaders debate whether to allow the interest rate on some federal loans to double.

Unless Congress votes to avoid it, the rate on new Subsidized Stafford Loans, used by more than 360,000 low- and moderate-income college students in Ohio, will double on July 1. The rate would increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on new loans taken out after July 1.

The new website is brown.senate.gov/CollegeLoanStories.

“Tell me what low student loan rates have meant to your ability to afford college,” Brown said in a news release. “Tell me how you would be affected if you had to pay more in student loan costs once you graduate. I’ll be collecting your stories and sharing them on the Senate floor and with my colleagues.”

“Already, recent college graduates are struggling to find work, with half of young college graduates jobless or underemployed. Allowing the interest rates on federal student loans to double is a step backwards. Ohio students—and our economy—can’t afford this sucker-punch at a time when we need to be doing more to get our economy back on track.”

Just last April, total student loan debt nationwide surpassed $1 trillion. Democrats in the Senate and House back a bill that would freeze the interest rate at 3.4 percent for another two years, which would allow Congress more time to generate a long-term solution.

By contrast, House Republicans approved a bill in May that would make interest rates for subsidized Stafford loans equal to the yield of the 10-year Treasury note plus 2.5 percentage points. The rates would be fluid, meaning they would change as the market evolves, and would be capped at 8.5 percent. President Barack Obama has said he would veto the GOP version.

Brown asks for student loan stories »