CoPIRG Calls for Congress to Stop Student Loan Rate Hike

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Denver –   Today a Colorado consumer advocacy group, CoPIRG, called on Colorado’s Congressional delegation to put aside politics and prevent interest rates on subsidized Stafford student loans from doubling on July 1 for nearly 7.5 million students. Without Congressional action, interest rates will increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

“Tight family finances, uncertain job prospects and college budget cuts are already squeezing students and families in Colorado,” said Danny Katz, Director of CoPIRG. “By preventing interest rates from doubling on subsidized Stafford loans, Congress will help keep college in reach for tens of thousands of Coloradans.”  

CoPIRG’s call echoes President Obama’s speech at the University of Colorado Boulder where he will be appealing for Congress to act before July 1. Yesterday, presidential candidate and Republican Mitt Romney also called for action.

“President Obama and Governor Romney’s support should signal to Congress that this is a common sense, non-partisan proposal,” said Katz.

Following the President’s speech, CoPIRG will be sending a letter to Colorado Senators Udall and Bennet advocating for their support to prevent the interest rate doubling. The letter was cosigned by New Era Colorado, the 9to5 National Association of Working Women, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy and the AFL-CIO. 

The letter explains while college graduates fare better in the job market than those without a degree, high debt burdens have serious consequences for individuals, families and the economy.  Student loan debt affects where graduates live, the kinds of careers they pursue, whether they try to start a new business, when they start a family or purchase a home, and when they can start to save for retirement.

“Congress needs to do more, not less, to help Coloradans obtain the higher education and training needed to compete in today’s economy,” said Katz.