GRU students voice concerns after some student loan rates double - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

GRU students voice concerns after some student loan rates double

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If students renew or take out a federal subsidized Stafford loan for the fall semester, the interest rate will be 6.8% because Congress couldn't reach a deal on student loan rates by Monday's deadline.

Students took out the same type of loans for the spring semester with an interest rate of 3.4%.

"I'm definitely going to have to replan my entire college career now," said Briana Torrence, a Georgia Regents University freshman.

Torrence is relying on federal loans to pay her way through college.

Since the interest rate for the subsidized Stafford loan has doubled, she says she will have to start sacrificing if the rate doesn't change.

"I might end up doing another job; I might end up taking fewer classes per semester to save money," she said.

She's the first person in her family to attend a university and she says she's willing to do what she has to in order to stay in school and get a law degree.

She says when she graduates in four or five years she will have to pay back $16,000 in government loans.

The Congress Joint Economic Committee estimates the new interest rate will cost the average student an extra $2,600.

"It's sucks. The fact that the interest is going to be higher and I'll have to worry about it longer than I usually have to; it's going to be hard," said Torrence.  

Due to the increase, federal subsidized interest rates now match the unsubsidized interest rate.

Torrence says if lawmakers don't step in she and many other students will suffer.

"The students are going to hurt. For students who are just getting into college, this will discourage them. For students right now it's definitely going to hit hard," she said.

Many senators say next week they'll consider voting to extend the 3.4% interest rate for federal subsidized Stafford loans another year.

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