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Government and Politics

Brown says student loan bill does not do enough
Ohio senator says loan rates could go up as economy improves

Senator Sherrod Brown says that even with rate caps, student debts could become a considerable burden as the economy improves.
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The Senate passed a bill this week that will lower student-loan interest rates for a few years. Democratic Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is not happy with the legislation and he says more needs to be done to help students.


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The bill ties student loan rates to the financial markets. Right now, it means lower interest rates but if the economy improves, it could mean that those rates will be much higher. The bill caps the rate at 8.25 percent for undergrads. It was a bipartisan bill.

President Obama called it a victory and national education advocates say it was the best deal possible. But Brown says it does not address the cost of higher education and the rate cap is not enough.

"It’s still an oppressive debt on them as they get out of college and community college or a four-year school," Brown says. "It means they’re not buying a house in many cases or starting a business. They’re not doing the things, starting a family, that we want them to do for their own fulfillment and also for this economy."

Brown says he expects the bill will pass the house and plans to propose future legislation, like a bill aimed at private student loans. Brown says he wants banks and private lenders to work with students to refinance their loans to help get them out of debt.

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