Getty Images For the last few months, media outlets — including this one — have been warning about that if Congress didn’t act by July 1, student loan interest rates were set to double. Well, now that the deadline has passed, interest rates have gone up, and the continued deadlock between Republicans in Congress and President Obama suggest that, at least for the time being, they aren’t coming back down.
There’s an old saying that people vote with their wallets — and, as 2013’s fall semester gets closer, voters who are in college or have children going to college may well begin to wonder whose student loan proposals will lighten their wallets the most, and which options will make them heavier.
At the moment, there are four proposals floating around Washington: Keeping the current situation, under which rates are doubling; extending the recently lapsed 50 percent rate cut; a bipartisan Senate proposal tying rates to the treasury rate; and an Obama-backed proposal tying rates to the 10-year Treasury rate. Depending on which proposal gets adopted, the interest tab on a $5,000 subsidized student loan could range from $721 to $1,904.
If you’re wondering how these loan proposals would affect you, Slate has a fantastic loan calculator. Give it a peek — and figure out which politician’s plan is going to save you the most money!