Stafford Student Loan Interest Rates Double, After Congress Fails To Act

Jul 1, 2013

Credit Keith Ramsey / Flickr

Interest rates on newly issued subsidized Stafford loans doubled on Monday.

The New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation has been working with families to help them understand what that means when planning for college.

As of July 1, the interest rate jumps from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Tara Payne is vice president of the Center for College Planning.

She says her concern is that students who qualify for subsidized federal loans are the ones with the greatest need.

“It sends a message to students that the federal government doesn’t think it’s as important to support you financially as you try to pursue education beyond high school.”

This increase affects new loans being taken out as of Monday, as Congress failed to act before a temporary reduction in the interest rate expired.

Barring a retroactive change, that will add $2,600 to the average student’s debt, according to a Congressional committee.

Students graduating from college in New Hampshire already leave with the highest average debt load – just over $31,000.