Student Loan Rates May Be on the Rise - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Student Loan Rates May Be on the Rise

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Going to college isn't cheap, especially if you're attending an out-of-state university. But physical therapy student Kristi Slaba knew to plan ahead.

"My parents actually talked to me a lot about it, and then my school in high school, they came and did a whole day about it," says Slaba.

Even with that extra foresight, she says she still has about $20,000 in student loans. She is in her fifth year at the University of Mary in Bismarck and has two more years left before she gets her graduate degree.

Which is why she's concerned about the possibility that subsidized Stafford loans will go from 3.4 to 6.8 percent if congress doesn't act in a matter of days.

"It's definitely going to affect me. Especially with the subsidized loans going up because those are the ones I like to take. Well now with the rates going up so high it's going to be harder to pay those back," says Slaba.

Last month, the U.S. House passed the Smarter Solutions for Student's Act, and now Representative Kevin Cramer is urging the Senate to take it up.

"I certainly hope that the senate can take it up this week. They've been real slow to act but I just want to urge all of them, both republicans and democrats to please take the house's lead and pass something to provide some relief to our students," says Congressman Kevin Cramer.

But Senator Heidi Heitkamp says there are major problems with the House's version.

"In none of these packages are we talking about the existing student debt, and we need to continue to push for reform there and for the ability of students to refinance and take a look at what we can do," says Senator Heitkamp.

She adds that she doesn't think something will be passed by July 1st, but hopes something will before students like Slaba go back in the fall.

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