There has been a lot of focus on the pending rate interest rate hike on federally subsidized Stafford student loans potentially doubling in July from 3.4 to 6.8 percent.
This may sound alarming until you realize the rate increase would only affect new loans. Let’s say that the rate hike does happen, what will that mean in potential repayments? The rate hike will end up costing the average federal student loan borrower an additional $6 a month. What’s an additional $6 a month? Maybe it’s two Starbucks coffees, or you go to one movie every 2 months instead of every month, or maybe you pack one more lunch a month? Granted, $6 a month can add up over the life of the loan, but should we label this increase a “crisis” deserving all of the media attention that has come with it? In reality, the hype around student loans may have more to do with politics than changing what’s truly wrong with the student loan debt market, the escalating cost of tuition. Over the past 10 years the cost of private college has jumped more than 60%, nearly three times as much as incomes over the same period.Is that crisis worthy?