Lawmakers unveil plan for affordable student loans

By WEEK Producer

May 12, 2013 Updated May 12, 2013 at 10:25 PM CDT

ILLINOIS -- As college graduates prepare to enter the workforce, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is working with fellow lawmakers to keep student loan interest rates affordable.

If passed, the Responsible Student Loan Solutions Act would base interest rates on operation costs of loan programs, rather than setting a numerical rate.

Without this bill, Durbin says all current interest rates could double to 6.8 percent this July.

The bill would allow for adjustable rates for subsidized loans, while putting a cap at a 100 percent rate increase.

"Why in the heck are students today facing so much debt to go to school? That, to me, is intolerable,” Senator Durbin says. “Many students sign up for debt and have no idea how deeply they are going tin to debt, so that's a large issue. For the time being, I'm focused on the interest rate, but I want to go beyond that."

Student debt recently crested above $1 trillion.

It is the nation's second-largest consumer debt behind home mortgages.