Rep. Himes Calls for Extension on Student Loans Subsidies

Congressman Jim Himes called for an extension to $6 billion-a-year student loans subsidies set to expire at the end of June.

Congressman Jim Himes (D-4) held a press conference at the University of Connecticut Stamford Monday morning calling for an extension to student loan subsidies that are set to expire July 1, effectively doubling the current interest rates on Stafford loans.

Current interest rates under the subsidy are set at 3.4-percent, but would jump to 6.8-percent after the expiration of the current funding, which runs at about $6 billion annually.

"That's an average increase of $1,000-per-year in what it means to service those loans," said Himes, who said those additional funds are only compounded by an troubled job market. "Not only do you face the uncertainty of getting a job, you're also going to owe more."

Southern Connecticut State University student Melanie Sabol, 19, of Shelton, joined Himes on stage and shared her story and some statistics.

"We students can't really afford to pay [for school] any other way [than through student loans.]" Sabol said."We need a good education—an education that we can afford. Waiting until the middle of summer to know what my loans will be this fall means I have to wait to make plans for school next year."

Himes stood the $6 billion annual assistance to student loan payments against the $800 billion budget spent on defense, national security and the war in Afghanistan, saying the student loan assistance was comparably less than 1-percent.

"How can our students be expected to be economically productive," Himes said after his time on stage. "How can that student be expected to start that business that employs others with this type of debt hanging over them? Once the economy improves, those with a higher education will be in better shape than those without one to keep our country growing."

Himes is a cosponsor of H.R. 3826 with U.S. Representative Joseph Courtney, which would permanently extend the current rate.

Daniel June 26, 2012 at 02:15 PM
"How can that student be expected to start that business that employs others with this type of debt hanging over them? With all due respect to Congressman Himes, he should be answering this question- not asking it. As a current college student I can honestly say that I would trade an increase in student loans in exchange for a steady job market. However, with Connecticut's current unemployment rate hovering around 8% this does not seem plausible.
Jordan Shenhar June 26, 2012 at 02:31 PM
I'm a high school student going to college in a little over a year, and I'm afraid that Himes's proposal is dangerously misguided. The lack of private-sector jobs for college grads is a more pressing issue than the cost of college itself. If it wants to bring down the cost of higher education, Congress should focus more on the runaway tuition costs at public universities that make these loans necessary than on minutia like interest rates.
johnmartin September 21, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Government should again provide subsidy for student loan. The current rate of interest for student loan is under the 3.4-percent, after the exceptions it would be 6-8 percent. http://www.kwikcash.co.uk
Teena Reed November 03, 2012 at 10:56 AM
That’s really good news that Congressman Jim Himes just called for an extension to $6 billion-a-year student loans. However Mr. Barak Obama is also working hard to solve the student loan problems. http://www.paydayau.com.au


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