By Francesca L. Covey
WASHINGTON (April 25, 2012) — The President on Wednesday delivered remarks at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and continued his call for Congress to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling in July.
If Congress doesn’t act, interest rates will double on July 1 for more than 7.4 million students with subsidized federal Stafford Loans. Approximately 334,000 AAPI borrowers would see their loans increase. To out-educate our global competitors and make college more affordable, Congress needs to stop the interest rate on these student loans from doubling.
This announcement is one of a series of steps that the Administration has taken to make college more affordable and to make it even easier for students to repay their federal student loans. The Obama Administration’s “Pay as You Earn” plan enables 1.6 million current students to take advantage of a new option to cap student loan repayments at 10 percent of monthly income when they start repayment, as soon as this year. Graduates currently in repayment can cap their payments at 15 percent of income right away. Borrowers looking to determine whether or not income-based repayment is the right option for them should visithttp://studentaid.ed.gov/ibr.
Now, President Obama is calling on Congress to put forward legislation to stop interest rates from doubling. For the estimated 334,000 AAPI borrowers it would mean an estimated average savings per borrower of $1,089 for Asian Americans and $1,042 for Pacific Islander/Hawaiian Americans over the life of the loan and an estimated total savings of over $361 million. Keeping interest rates on student loans low would allow more Americans to get: a fair shot at an affordable college education, the skills they need to find a good job, and a clear path to the middle class.
And, the President is asking all borrowers to help make sure Congress acts, saying:
… I’m asking everyone else who’s watching or following online — call your member of Congress. Email them. Write on their Facebook page. Tweet them — we’ve got a hashtag. Here’s the hashtag for you to tweet them: #dontdoublemyrate. All right? I’m going to repeat that — the hashtag is #dontdoublemyrate.
… Your voice matters. Stand up. Be heard. Be counted. Tell them now is not the time to double the interest rate on your student loans. Now is the time to double down on smart investments that build a strong and secure middle class. Now is the time to double down on an America that’s built to last.