Loan interest rates add up to a high-stakes debate for Montana college students and their families.
Students in Montana borrowed roughly $237 million last academic year, according to Ron Muffick, director of student financial aid for the Montana University System. About $230 million of that borrowing was in federal student loans.
Much national attention has been directed to the subsidized student loan rate, which doubled on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent because members of Congress couldn’t agree on new legislation. However, Muffick says 83 percent of Montana students who get federal loans get nonsubsidized loans or a combination of subsidized and nonsubsidized loans. They were already incurring interest at 6.8 percent.