Congress works to slash loans, only affects some

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - As US Senators work to slash student loan interest rates, local students line up outside financial aid offices, trying to understand what's in store for them in the coming months.

"They're all trying to get into their classes," said HGTC Financial Aid Director Susan Thompson. "Six months after graduation, students will start making payments."

But as of July 1, student loan interest rates have almost doubled to 6.8 percent. Now, senators on both sides of the fence are working to bring those rates down to 3.85 percent, effectively reducing loan dues by a few thousand dollars.

But there's a catch, the proposed legislation only covers subsidized loans.

"A subsidized loan is a need-based loan," Thompson said.

Anyone who isn't qualified for need-based financial assistance would still have to pay the higher interest rate. One HGTC loan officer described it as an incentive for families that can pay full tuition to do it, instead of accruing unnecessary debt.

"We've got a lot of student debt," Thompson said. "A lot of student debt."

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