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

Alexander: Bill to Lower Rates for 11 Million Students, Including 200,000 Tennesseans, Becomes Law Today

Legislation was sponsored by Alexander and bipartisan group of senators

Friday, August 09, 2013Liz Wolgemuth (202) 224-8584

***

"This permanent, market-based plan makes loans cheaper, simpler and more certain for the 11 million students nationwide – including more than 200,000 in Tennessee – heading to college this fall.” – Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON, August 9— Sen. Lamar Alexander (R. Tenn), the senior Republican on the U.S. Senate education committee, today released the following statement on the president signing into law a student-loan bill Alexander and a bipartisan group of senators cosponsored in the Senate:  

Alexander said: "This permanent, market-based plan makes loans cheaper, simpler and more certain for the 11 million students nationwide – including more than 200,000 in Tennessee – heading to college this fall. We can finally put behind us 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 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 legislation.

# # #

More Press from the Ranking Member