Student loans

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – In a bit of political theater, the Senate deadlocked over rival bills Thursday on student loan interest rates -- setting the stage for backroom talks to prevent a doubling of the rate for new student loans on July 1.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – If Congress doesn’t take action by July 1, many of the 57,000 college students in Missouri and 337,000 in Illinois who are getting new federal student loans will be saddled with more debt than they had bargained for.

That’s because the interest rates on those loans are scheduled to double – to 6.8 percent, from the current 3.4 percent – if there is no stopgap or permanent fix by then. A temporary fix last year kept the rates at the current level, but will expire at the end of June.