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Student loan rates lower, for now

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 01 2013 06:00:05 PM CDT

Local students react to student loan interest rates

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

Back to school means one thing at college financial aid offices.

"It's been very busy very hectic," said Northampton Community College Director of Financial Aid Cindy King.

Students are making sure loan documents are sorted out so classes can begin.

Delia Marrero graduated from NCC on a scholarship.

But must now take out loans to complete her education at Movarian College.

"Student debt and the amount I would have to pay back makes me nervous," said Marrero.

Marrero says what made her nervous was the interest rate on federal student loans jumping to 6.8 percent July first.

But now, she can breathe a little easier.

Lawmakers reduced the rate to  3.9 percent for undergraduates and  5.4 percent for graduate students.

The bi-partisan bill ties student loan interest rates to the bonds market starting in 2015.

If bond yields spike, those interest rates are capped at 8.25  and 9.5 percent.

While many people are glad they are getting a break on interest rates this year, some parents worry what will happen in the future.

Donn Fotta has one son going to college this year and a teenage daughter on deck.

"It would really be good if things would stay stable so we can move forward and plan for the future," said Fotta.

While there's no way to predict what interest rates will do.

King has this advice: "Borrow the least amount that they possibly can just what they need for their educational costs."

"My attitude is it's an investment in my future and the future of my children so I am willing to do it," said Marrero.

The interest rate change doesn't apply to private lenders.