As first reported by The Gainesville Sun, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) was on campus at the University of Florida this week to discuss the student loan debt crisis with students and garner support for his new legislative bill.
Senator Nelson, who attended UF before transferring, spoke to a dozen or so students from UF and Santa Fe College regarding their respective student loan situations and to drum up interest for his student-loan legislation.
Regarding the Florida Senator’s proposed bill, the students seemed to welcome the legislative piece with open arms. On July 10th, Nelson brought his legislative piece to the floor in Congress. The proposed bill would cap the interest rates on undergraduate student loans at 4 percent. 4.45 percent is currently the maximum interest rate that can be charged on a federal student loan. As reported by LendEDU, the government raised the interest rates on federal student loans across-the-board on July 1st, 2017.
In addition to the interest rate cap, Nelson’s legislation would also allow current student loan borrowers that are facing an interest rate above 4 percent to refinance their educational loans so that they are working with an interest rate of 4 percent or lower. This is currently disallowed in the U.S. Nelson’s proposed bill would also get rid of any type of loan origination fee that is charged to a student when their educational loans are processed.
Senator Nelson filed his bill in Washington D.C. only days after federal student loan interest rates were increased to the present rate range between 3.76 percent and 4.45 percent.
Besides championing his proposed legislation, Nelson spent his time fielding questions from student loan borrowers and hearing their individual student loan cases. When one of the students in attendance asked Nelson where the bill would call for cuts, Nelson replied by saying that cuts would not be necessary if the program was administered responsibly and sustainably.
Back in July, LendEDU reported that Senator Nelson was getting ready to introduce the aforementioned legislation. At that time, the Senator was traveling to a college campus in Orlando to discuss the bill with students. Florida politicians are appearing to get busy when it comes to student loan reform. Just yesterday, LendEDU covered the story regarding state politicians in Florida filing a bill that would increase the amount of financial aid that in-state students receive.
Author: Mike Brown
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