Monday, May 7, 2012

TODAY: Advocates Deliver Over 600,000 Petitions and Letters Calling on U.S. Senate to Keep Student Loans Affordable

Tell your Senator: Do not let the interest rate double on federal student loans:


TODAY: Advocates Deliver Over 600,000 Petitions and Letters Calling on U.S. Senate to Keep Student Loans Affordable



Just Before Critical Senate Vote, Rebuild the Dream, CREDO Action, and USAction Show Widespread Support for Bill

On Tuesday, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the "Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2012". The bill keeps the interest rate at 3.4% until 2013. Without Congressional action, the interest rate on subsidized federal Stafford student loans will double on July 1, from 3.4% to 6.8%. Nearly 8 million students rely on these loans every year for higher education. If the bill fails, students would pay as much as $5,000 more per person on the repayment of their loans.

Over the past few weeks, over 600,000 petition signatures and letters to Congress have come from members of Rebuild the Dream, CREDO Action, and USAction in support of legislation to keep interest rates low on subsidized federal Stafford student loans. This includes 213,099 petition signatures and letters from Rebuild the Dream members, 360,744 petition signatures from CREDO activists, and 34,360 petition signatures from USAction. In addition to these petition signatures and letters, Rebuild the Dream and CREDO Action have generated over 10,000 individual phone calls to the U.S. Senate since last Friday.

"Passing this bill just a no-brainer," said Molly Katchpole, a recent graduate now paying off her subsidized Stafford loans. "There's no question -- Americans across all generations support the passage of this bill. Banks can borrow money from the government at near-zero interest rates, and students should have a low interest rate on their loans, too."

"It would be shocking even for the extreme Republicans dominating this Congress to double the interest rates on federal student loans," said Becky Bond, Political Director of CREDO Action. "Students spend years trying to pay off mountains of student loan debt, not to mention the struggles they face trying to find a good job after they graduate. Students can't afford for the Republicans in Congress to pile on even more student loan debt and hamstring their futures."

Both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, the apparent Republican nominee, have urged support for this bill -- meaning the top leaders of both political parties agree on this issue. The only question now is: what will Congress do? Tuesday's scheduled Senate vote is a key moment for Congress. Thousands of students and are waiting to see if Congress is on their side.

For more questions, or to interview Molly Katchpole, contact Rafael Noboa y Rivera at raf@fitzgibbonmedia.com or (202) 455-4673. To interview Becky Bond, Political Director of CREDO Action, contact Sarah Lane at sarahlane@credomobile.com or (415) 369-2104. To contact members of USAction, contact Ross Wallen, USAction, rwallen@usaction.org202-263-4573.

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