Updated 06/29/2012 10:24 PM
Student loan interest rates decision just a band-aid
Congress passes a bill that will stop federal student loan interest rates from doubling. But as YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, reigning in the problem of student loans requires more than a freeze on the rates of loans being borrowed.
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UNITED STATES -- Sonia Lopez paints a bleak picture.
"Students are graduating and trying to get jobs just to pay those loans off instead of just trying to get careers that they wanted to in the beginning and that's what's worrying me now," she said.
One college students are facing and second guessing higher education because of it.
"I've actually read some stuff about how it's not even worth it to go to college," said Valencia College junior Ian Dixon.
But now that Congress has passed a bill to stop federally subsidized student loan rates from doubling to 6.8 percent, many are breathing a sigh of relief, but not so quick.
While the decision is being viewed as a victory, some say it's just a band-aid solution and that the real problem is the amount of student loan debt that is being taken out.
"Our biggest problem right now is the amount of debt that students and families have to take on in order to fund college. So that goes back to if they have to borrow this much money, the cost of college is getting out of control," said National College Advocacy Group Executive Director Gary Carpenter.
And with the costs growing, students may have to turn to private loans that aren't subject to federal regulations because they can only borrow so much from the federal program.
"Those rates are dictated by the individual lenders themselves, are based on the credit of the student and a co-signer," said Carpenter.
Variable rates that could reach double digits. Carpenter says student loan debt is a problem worse than the housing crisis because people are borrowing with no collateral to back what they can't afford.
On top of that, the bill that now heads to President Obama will only freeze interest rates for one year. In 2013, America will once again face this problem.
The bill also caps federally subsided student loans to 150 percent of the length of a college program, so students enrolled in a four year program will only be able to receive loans for six years.