President Obama signed a new bill that dealt with a variety of measures addressing Asian carp, roll-your-own-tobacco, federal timber aid, and road building. Oh, and it also secured the interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans for undergraduate students at 3.4 percent, preventing it from doubling for an estimated 7.4 million students expecting to get new loans this year.
Keeping the interest rate stable on student loan debt which just exceeded $1 trillion is a pretty big priority. Congress appeared to think so as well.
“The Democratic-led Senate sent the measure to Obama by a 74-19 vote, just minutes after the Republican-run House approved it 373-52. The unusual display of harmony, in a bitterly partisan year, signaled lawmakers’ eagerness to claim credit for providing transportation jobs, to avert higher costs for students and their families and to avoid being embarrassed had the effort run aground.”
Whitehouse.gov posted a video featuring students who were called to action to make their voices heard. During his campaign the president encouraged young people across America to jump on the Twitter feed, with the hashtag dontdoublemyrates in an effort to trend the topic and catch the attention of a bi-partisan Congress.
The development calls to mind an interesting initiative called the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, currently inching closer to its goal of 2 million signatures. The proposed bill is championed by Representative Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) and would reduce the debt of those students who have been repaying their loans consistently over the last ten years. According to a HuffPost article, “Under the bill, a 10-10 standard is used as the criteria for student loan forgiveness. If a student has made payments equal to 10 percent of his discretionary income for 10 years, remaining federal student loan debt is forgiven.”
What about you? Did you participate in the Twitter trending against the student loan interest rate hike? Do you have an opinion about the Student Loan Forgiveness Act introduced last June? We love discussion here on Technapex, and we welcome the chance to hear your voice in the comments below.