Congress Fails to Compromise, Student Loan Rates Skyrocket

By Mariah Young

Hot off the press, read all about it: Congress couldn’t make compromise. What a surprise.

College students, you should not be very happy with Congress right now. I know that probably isn’t surprising with their 10% approval rating, but I’m normally very patient with people and the lawmaking process. I understand that people have different beliefs on how we should run the government, and fix the economy. I know that things take time. What I never seem to understand though, is why Congress let’s things get worse before they get better. If you are able to address a future problem before it happens, wouldn’t you?

So, why did Congress let student loan rates double to 6.8%? Because they couldn’t compromise. They knew the deadline was coming, because they set it themselves last year.

Both sides claim they didn’t want student loan rates to increase, but it happened. Regardless of which side of the aisle you fall on, you know this isn’t okay if you are paying for college.

According to Congress’ Joint Economic Committee $2,600 a year has been added to the already ridiculously large amount of student loans I will owe back in a few years. This is a lot of money. It now costs more money to get a loan from our government that promotes getting a college education, than from a private lender. When I first thought about it, I was thinking “Okay so I guess $2,600 isn’t much compared to the heap I will already owe.” Then I realized that it is not okay.

Student loan debt already surpasses credit card debt in the U.S., according to the Washington Post. The average college student is already graduating with $27,547 remaining on their student loans.  The pressure to go to college is going up, along with the price – but not the return. Recent college graduates still face a 13.3% unemployment rate and 65% of graduates have debt. The numbers don’t add up. They surely don’t justify Congress’ inaction.  

 “We will get to it after the July 4th holiday,” they said.

“It can be retroactively fixed,” they said.

“The other side just can’t compromise with us,” they said.

I am deeply sorry that the price of college education isn’t as important as your sparklers and yacht trips this past weekend, Congress, but you all knew this was coming. This same issue happened last year. So while it will probably be fixed and student loan rates will go back to normal, it brings up an important question: Why does Congress set deadlines if they aren’t going to follow them?  Why do they pass deadlines and act like it isn’t a big deal?

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So Congress, if it isn’t that big of a concern for you all, can I just have the $2,600 out of your pay to fund my interest rates?


About Mariah

Mariah Young is a fast-talking and very sarcastic political science and journalism double major at the University of Mary Washington. When she isn’t trying to convince her parents that she really  doesn’t want to go to law school when she gradutates but instead wants to study public policy journalism in grad school, she is glued to her phone reading any and all of the news (It’s probably an addiction). Speaking of addictions, she loves to write and research, drink an unhealthy amount of coffee, and play with the Adobe Suite making infographics just for fun. As a news editor for her college newspaper, a debater, and a public speaking tutor, Mariah doesn’t really know what sleep is, but that’s okay because she can sleep when she gets a Pulitzer.  

Photo by Jano Silva DC 

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