Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / News / Education and Educational Services / House backs variable rate student loans

House backs variable rate student loans

WASHINGTON — Dismissing a veto threat from President Barack Obama, lawmakers in the Republican-led House approved legislation that links student loan rates to the ups and downs of the financial markets.

The Republican-backed bill would allow students to dodge a scheduled rate hike for students with new subsidized Stafford loans next month, but rates could rise in coming years. Democrats largely opposed the measure — which they branded the “Making College More Expensive Act” — while the Republican chairman of the Education Committee labeled the legislation a starting point for negotiations with the Senate and White House.

“The American people sent us here to tackle tough issues, not kick the can down the road. The time to act is now. Students, families and taxpayers cannot afford further delay,” House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline said after the vote.

Interest rates on new subsidized Stafford loans are set to double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, on July 1. Lawmakers from both parties say they want to avoid the increase but were divided on how.