Student loan interest rates will not be doubling this year. Next year is a different story... (Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images)
Seven million college students with federal loans will be breathing a sigh of relief this weekend. On Friday, Congress finally passed the bill to freeze student loan interest rates by a vote of 373 to 52. If this failed to happen, the rates would have doubled from 3.8 percent to 6.8 percent. This hike would have caused students to spend on average $1000 more on student loans each year.
The interest rate freeze was part of a larger bill that will also salvage 2.8 million jobs, the Associated Press reports. The bill will renew funding for highways and extends federal flood insurance.
The Washington Post reports that the bill, which is waiting on final signature from President Obama, will enable "just over $100 billion to be spent on highway, mass transit and other transportation programs over the next two years, projects that would have expired Saturday without congressional action."
There has been a lot of back and forth over raising student loan interest rates and while this is a positive step forward, the loan freeze is only good for one year. Come July 2013, parents and students may be faced with the same dilemma.
Are you affected by the student loan interest rate freeze? Share your thoughts on this bill in the comments below.
Jenny is the Education Editor at TakePart. She has been writing for TakePart since 2009 and previously worked in film and television development. She has taught English in Vietnam and tutors homeless children in Los Angeles.Email Jenny | @jennyinglee