As Congress has struggled to reach a consensus on setting federal student loan rates, both parties have urged college students and 20-something former students to take a side on the issue by using the Twitter hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate.
That expansive messaging effort has led to confusion about the legislation, prompting a surge of phone calls to college and university financial aid offices. One of the biggest misconceptions is that all student loan holders will see a doubling of their interest rates — or even their entire monthly payments.
But the July 1 increase in the rate is on just one type of federal student loan, and alumni and many students will not be affected by the change. But the more than 7 million who are expected to take out one of these loans this year eventually could see a loan bill that’s about $20 more per month — a burden, for sure, but not the crippling problem that lawmakers in both parties have portrayed it to be, according to financial aid experts.