NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - It may become harder for low-income students to pay for college, if Congress doesn't act by July 1st.
Interest on federal loans could double. It's happened before, and it's happening again now. But this time it could cost college students thousands of dollars.
More college students continue to rally on Capitol Hill asking lawmakers to keep Stafford Loan interest rates low. If Congress doesn't act by July 1st, interest rates on new subsidized Stafford Loans will increase from 3.4% to 6.8%.
This was also the case last year, but Congress acted in time to keep interest rates low. But now the June 30, 2013 deadline is fast approaching and estimates show that an interest rate increase could mean an extra $5,000 added to the principal.
We spoke with one student who relies on loans and says the impact could hurt his chances of paying the money back.
"Pretty much already I have like $24,000 in debt," said UMass student Nathan Byrne. "Each year I've been taking on roughly $15,000. I'm going to have to go graduate and med school. I'll be pretty much walking on a treadmill to pay off the interest."
The average student loan debt, upon graduating, is around $26,000.