Give College Students the Same Interest Rate as Big Banks

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Target: Senator Elizabeth Warren and members of Congress

Goal: Allow college students the same interest rate for federal student loans that big banks receive when borrowing from the Federal Reserve.

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently introduced a bill that proposes college students receive the same interest rates for federal student loans that the banks receive when they borrow from the Federal Reserve. Currently, banks can receive a loan from the Federal Reserve at a rate of about 0.75 percent, a “discount window” rate that banks have used heavily since the financial crisis. Rates for student loans, however, are set to double by July 1 of this year, when students will be forced to pay a rate of 6.8 percent. The bill titled the Student Loans Fairness Act would last for one year with the goal of giving Congress extra time to form a long term agreement on student loans.

The Federal Reserve has lent trillions of dollars to banks at the low interest rate after the financial meltdown in 2008, which was caused in large part by lack of government regulation and bankers’ manipulation of the financial system. Those same banks that were saved by the government are now happily enjoying an extremely low interest rate, while students and recent graduates are facing a high unemployment rate, weak job prospects, and a collective student debt of over $800 billion (not including private student loans). Senator Warren explains, “The federal government is going to charge students interest rates that are nine times higher than the rates for the biggest banks — the same banks that destroyed millions of jobs and nearly broke this economy. That isn’t right. And that is why I’m introducing legislation today to give students the same deal that we give to the big banks.”

Creating an educated populace should be top priority for our entire society. Higher education should not be luxury for only those who can afford it. Sign the petition below to tell Congress that you support Senator Warren’s proposal.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Elizabeth Warren and members of Congress,

The student debt crisis is not only an everyday reality for millions of college students and recent graduates. It is a national crisis that must be addressed now. Creating an educated populace should be top priority for our entire society. Education is not simply a factor in a person’s individual success, such as obtaining a secure job and providing for a family. Education is the key to collectively moving forward, generating innovative ideas, curing disease, and creating inventions that will improve our way of life. Indeed, education is part of the backbone of democracy.

The fact that big banks are given priority over students in terms of interest rates is unjust and inconsistent with our nation’s fundamental values. These are the big banks that were saved by the government after they manipulated the weakly regulated financial system that contributed to the 2008 economic crisis. The bankers have not paid for their transgressions; instead, they got paid, and they continue to enjoy an extremely low interest rate of 0.75 percent. Millions of students and recent graduates, however, are forced to face a high unemployment rate, an interest rate that will increase to 6.8 percent, and a collective student debt of over $800 billion (not including private student loans). This is their reward for working hard and trying to improve their futures by obtaining a higher education. Where is their “bailout?”

We are writing to show support for Senator Warren’s Student Loans Fairness Act. It is time that Congress finally take action on this crucial issue that impacts the future of not only students, but of our entire country.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Michael Fleshman via Flickr

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2 Comments

  1. J Davidson says:

    Education is first, not banks. Why do this to students, who are the future of our country and survival?

  2. Joy Gillingham says:

    I agree, J Davidson.

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