Obama pushes continuation of low student loan interest rate


Democrats and Republicans are sparring over competing bills aimed at keeping student loan interest rates from doubling this summer. Local students are impacted by crushing debt.

It's not finals or term papers that keep college student Kelly McCarty awake at night. Instead it's the thought of how she'll be able to afford paying off $100,000 of student loan debt.

"I've been counting on 2012, the world ends, before I have to pay any loans back," said McCarty. "My other option is to be a student the rest of my life so I'll never hit that point where I haven't been a student for six months and I have to pay it back."

And she could end up paying more unless Congress acts quickly. On July 1 the interest rate students pay is set to double. But a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate could keep the current rate for another year.

By freezing the student-loan interest rate, it will create predictability. That will be especially important to graduating students, who are required to begin paying off their student loans six months later.

"The less interest I have to pay the better for me, better for a lot of the students that actually go here. So it would actually help out everybody," said student Leanthony Edwards.

Students say it's only a fix for a year, but anything helps.

"We get six months after we graduate to find that job, then we start making those payments and everything should work out, but we don't know," said student Nathan Cupul.

For now the fate of the interest rate he and others will pay rests in the hands of Washington.

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