Murkowski Co-Sponsors Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act

With New Students Enrolling Soon, Senator Works to “Lock and Lower” Rates

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski today co-sponsored S.1241 the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act to keep loan rates low for new college students – representing a permanent fix to “lock and lower” interest rates for 100 percent of newly-issued student loans.  Though rates on new loans officially doubled on July 1st, if this bill is enacted, the U.S. Department of Education would originate all new loans for the coming school year at the new, lower rates.

This bipartisan measure uses a plan proposed by President Barack Obama in his 2013 budgetand is similar to the approach that passed the Republican House of Representatives in May.

“America’s college students deserve certainty and they deserve the lowest rates possible, as they face a double whammy of rising college costs and a challenging economy – this bill would lock and lower the borrowing rate,” said Murkowski.  ““This bill’s plan was designed in the White House and closely resembles the approach passed by the House of Representatives, so I ask my colleagues to put politics aside.  It’s critical to note that we aren’t just talking about teens and young twenty-somethings in this bill, residing in dorms and eating cafeteria food; 43 percent of America’s college students are 25 years old or more and already face the expenses we all deal with like rent, groceries and gas money – they don’t need higher bills because of Capitol Hill politics.”

BACKGROUND DETAILS: The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act requires that, for each academic year, all newly-issued student loans be set to the U.S. Treasury 10-year borrowing rate plus 1.85% for subsidized and unsubsidized undergraduate Stafford loans; plus 3.4% for graduate Stafford loans; and plus 4.4% for PLUS loans. The interest rate would be fixed over the life of the loan and the cap on interest rates for consolidated loans would remain at 8.25%.

The bill was introduced by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and is also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Carper (D-DE), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Angus King (I-ME) and Roy Blunt (R-MO).