Senate to consider Democratic plan extending student loan rates, previous attempt failed

  • Updated: July 8, 2013 - 5:55 PM

WASHINGTON — The Senate is trying again on student loans.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday scheduled a procedural vote for Wednesday on a bill restoring the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans to 3.4 percent for one year. Interest rates doubled to 6.8 percent last week because Congress didn't avert a rate hike built into the law.

House Republicans have passed a bill that would link rates to the financial markets and keep rates low in coming years. Rates would increase if the economy improves.

Democrats opposed the GOP proposal but haven't found enough support to overcome Senate procedural hurdles. A previous attempt for a two-year extension failed to win enough support ahead of the July 1 deadline.

Congress can retroactively reduce interest rates. Few students sign loans before August.

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