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College students worried loan interest rates could double

By Laura Halm
Published On: May 31 2013 08:47:18 PM CDT
Updated On: May 31 2013 02:57:26 PM CDT
STUDENT RATES
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

The cost of college is going up and it could soon go up even more for those needing student loans -- interest rates could double if Congress doesn't take action.

We caught up with students who said any increase would be a setback on finding their dream job.

Brandon Keys is an undergraduate at East Tennessee State University. He's going to school to be a future educator and says he's the one footing the bill. "If not for having student loans at my disposal it would have been impossible for me to go to school," said Keys.

Keys says he has $30,000 right now in student loans and he could be paying more than he planned in interest once he graduates. That's because the rate on federal student loans is set to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 if Congress doesn't act.

"I've saved up money and that's what you have to do when you have this amount of student loans. But if [the interest rate] were to double, that's just setting me further back then I can afford to get out of," added Keys.

We've learned this hike would affect millions of students getting loans for the next school year.

President Obama says the average student with these loans will rack up an additional $1,000 in debt. The President is asking Congress to make changes and keep rates down.

Back in Johnson City, Taylor Trent says he used student loans to help pay for his bachelor's degree. The possibility of a spike in interest rates is worrisome since he's taking out new loans to help pay for his graduate studies. "That definitely has me questioning how much I'm going to have to pay on top of what I've already taken out," said Trent.

The President wants the interest rate to be fixed over the life of the loan, while Republicans want the loan rate to adjust yearly based on market conditions.