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Congresswoman Clarke Opposes High Interest Rates on Student Loans

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Representative Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on her opposition to H.R. 1911, the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which would increase the cost of higher education for millions of Americans. The bill was passed by a vote of 392 to 31.


As opposed to the previous fixed interest rate standard for student loans, the bill would now establish variable interest rates for student loans based on the interest rate for ten-year Treasury notes, and would increase those rates by 2.05% for undergraduate subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans, 3.6 % for subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans, and 4.6% for Parent Plus and Graduate Plus loans.


“I cannot support a bill that we know will limit access to higher education by increasing the cost of college for students and their families. We cannot have a system in which higher education becomes a luxury available only to the wealthy” and “in which the government profits from what will inevitably become long-term indebtedness for many students,” said Representative Clarke.


Already, student loan debt amounts to more than one trillion dollars. This bill would increase cost to borrowers in the next ten years by an estimated $715 million dollars as a result of the variable interest rate and increase the total amount of student loan debt even more.


“We have a choice, between a society in which disparities in wealth determine each child’s future or a society in which everyone has an opportunity to obtain an education and pursue the American Dream. I believe that Americans will choose opportunity.”


U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.