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Quijano Urges Congress to Act Swiftly to Resolve Student Loan Crisis

Assemblywoman Advocates for Long-Term Solution that Would Include Interest Rate Cap

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano on Wednesday urged Congress to act swiftly to resolve the immediate student loan interest rate crisis and work together to pass a long-term solution to the problem.

Quijano’s urging comes in response to the decision by Congress to leave Washington on July 1 without taking action on the issue, causing subsidized student loan interest rates to double to 6.8 percent and imperiling the financial fate of countless college students. Congress returned this week but is still struggling to find common ground amongst competing proposals.

“This issue requires both expediency and resolve in order to address the immediate crisis and find a long-term solution so this problem won’t continually be a political wedge that jeopardizes the fate of millions of college students.

“With a shrinking middle class and the rising cost of tuition, gone are the days when many parents were able to save to help pay for their children’s college education. In turn, students are increasingly reliant on loans to pursue higher education.

“College is the first stepping stone towards the American Dream and essentially the foundation for our country’s future. If we don’t invest the time and energy now to ensure it remains affordable for every student, we risk jeopardizing all of this for future generations,” said Quijano.

Quijano supports a long-term solution that includes a cap on how high interest rates can go, which has been a sticking point among competing proposals put forth by the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House. Quijano said she will be reaching out to members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation in the coming days to discuss long-term solutions and the impact they will have on New Jersey’s college students in particular.

“Without a cap we’re essentially leaving students vulnerable to the same sort of crisis that precipitated the housing market collapse when adjustable rate mortgages ballooned. It would be reckless to pursue a long-term solution without a reasonable cap,” added Quijano.