Sen. Kay Hagan tackles federal college loans - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Sen. Kay Hagan tackles federal college loans

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Senator Kay Hagan was in Charlotte Wednesday to have a roundtable discussion about increased rates for college students. The talk happened at UNC Charlotte's Uptown Campus.

The problem is since Congress didn't act before they left for the July 4th holiday, interest rates for college students with federal loans rose from 3.4% to 6.8%.

Hagan invited college students, local college presidents and leaders to tell her their fears and give suggestions to the interest rate dilemma. Hagan heard the concerns and took notes.  She wants Congress to address this issue once they return from their break.

"Share with my colleagues," Hagan said. "And show how important it truly is that we got to make these investments."

College Presidents are worried the higher interest rate could discourage students from going to college because they fear they can't afford it.

"I am really pleading," Johnson C. Smith University President Ron Carter said. "That we take time to understand how our policies around financing education are contradicting each other and making it impossible for a child to get a quality education."

Hagan is concerned this higher rate could put college students on the hook to help pay down America's debt.

"Some of these bills will create a billion dollar profit," Hagan said. "On the backs of young people that would be used to pay down our federal debt. I think we've got to have that investment given back to the student."

Hagan did introduce a bill that would keep the interest rate down to 3.4% for a year while Congress figures out a permanent solution.

Hagan says she will use the information she received at the roundtable discussion to help convince lawmakers to keep the rate low.

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