US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Alexander: “Today’s House Action Takes Us One Step Closer to Cheaper, Simpler and More Certain Loans for 11 Million Students Heading to College This Fall”

House passes bipartisan student loan agreement cosponsored by Alexander to lower rates for 200,000 Tennessee students this year

Wednesday, July 31, 2013Liz Wolgemuth 202-228-4729

WASHINGTON, July 31 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the U.S. Senate education committee, today released the following statement on passage by the House of Representatives, by a vote of 392 to 31, of the bipartisan student-loan bill Alexander and a bipartisan group of senators cosponsored in the Senate:

“Today’s House action takes us one step closer to cheaper, simpler and more certain loans for 11 million students heading to college this fall. This permanent, market-based plan ends the annual game of Congress playing politics with student loan interest rates at the expense of students planning their futures.”

The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act – sponsored by Senators Alexander, Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) – will lower rates immediately for all students this year from the current rates of 6.8 and 7.9 percent and will tie rates on all new loans to the market.

The bill is expected to be signed by the president.

The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act:

  • Affects all new loans taken out after July 1 this year
  • Reduces interest rates on new loans for 11 million borrowers taking out 18 million loans totaling about $106 billion this year
  • Establishes for the first time a single rate on undergraduate loans, which are approximately two-thirds of all loans
  • Allows borrowers to benefit from the market’s current low interest rates and gives borrowers certainty by locking in rates for the life of the loan
  • Saves taxpayers $715 million over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office
  • Protects students by limiting how high their interest rates can rise

Click here for more information on the bill.

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