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State

Durbin: Stop student loan interest rate hike

CHICAGO – Sen. Dick Durbin said Congress must act to stop interest rates on some student loans from doubling.

The rate hike is scheduled to occur July 1 on federally subsidized Stafford loans. Durbin said that could mean more than 365,000 Illinois students with Stafford loans would have to pay almost $1,000 more in interest over the life of their loan.

The interest rate is set to increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Durbin supports a Senate proposal to keep the interest rate level for two years while Congress works on a long-term plan for the federal student loan program. That legislation stalled this week after a Republican filibuster.

A Republican proposal also failed.

The Illinois Democrat said lawmakers must ensure education is affordable for students from working and middle-income families.

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