Student loan rate hike will impact Bay area students - WFLA News Channel 8

Student loan rate hike will impact Bay area students

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Gridlock in Washington could wind up costing Bay area college students a lot more money.

On Monday, interest rates are set to double on Stafford Loans from 3.4% to 6.8%.  Congress couldn't come to an agreement on how to solve the problem, instead leaving the capitol for the holiday break.

"It's unfortunate because over 50 percent of our student population does receive financial aid and I think it could have a really large impact on our students," said Ashley Carl, spokeswoman of Hillsborough Community College. "I think this has snuck up on a lot of people."

HCC processes nearly $100 million in aid per year for 47,000 students, Carl said.

Democrats have argued keeping interest on Stafford loans low is of importance, saying poor and middle class students need the help.  Republicans want to control spending, and proposed linking student loans to the financial markets, instead of letting Congress set federal lending rates.

The Congressional Research Service estimates students who borrow $19,000 over four years, the maximum amount, will have to pay an additional $3,834 in interest payments over 10 years if the rates double.

"A lot of [students] are afraid if the interest rate goes up, they're not going to be able to continue their studies," said Chris McDermott, Advisor to HCC's Student Government Association.  "They're trying to just pay for their books, make sure they have food, and get to and from class. When you tell them interest rates are going up - they say 'oh my God I can't even afford to go to school anymore because I'm already working full time and going to school and I can barely afford that'."

They also worry about whether they'll be able to make loan payments when they do get jobs.

"They're not necessarily worried about not being employed at all ... but they're definitely worried about underemployment," McDermott said.

The rate increase could impact more than 7 million students taking out future loans.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @WFLA

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    Jennifer Lawrence requests nude pics investigation

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:56 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:56:41 GMT
    Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and other female actresses lashed out against an online bulletin board that posted what it claimed was compromising pictures of them.
    Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence and other female actresses lashed out against an online bulletin board that posted what it claimed was compromising pictures of them.
  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 18 - 23

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 18 - 23

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:58:28 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.