Student loan interest rates set to skyrocket

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Student loan interest rates set to skyrocket

By Simone Del Rosario. CREATED Jun 9, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The clock is ticking. On July 1, University of Arizona student debt will grow into a much bigger pile. 

Interest rates on the government-funded Stafford student loans are set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

"Dang, that's a lot," said incoming freshman Jacob Blomquist. "That's just going to make college double the amount you need for student loans, books, food and stuff."

Students like Jacob, in Tucson and all over the nation, can expect to pay up to $1,000 more each year for the lifetime of their loans.

"I still think people are not going to be able to pay it off," UA sophomore Kaitlyn Yanes said. "But, they're still going to get it, so we're actally going to be creating more debt and more problems."

That is, if Congress doesn't act. Last year, they were able to extend the lower rate for one more year -- putting off what now seems like the inevitable. 

A more expensive eduaction makes some students wonder if it's worth it.

"I'm considering taking out student loans, and with the interest rate increasing I don't think that it would be worth my while," Yanes said. 

But for many who want an education, they may not have a choice. 

About 14,000 UA students borrow these loans each year, to the tune of $69 million. If Congress can't come up with a solution, those students will be paying a lot more in interest down the road.