Fighting Student Loan Interest Increase

May 16, 2013 Updated May 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

May 16, 2013 Updated May 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) College students across Western New York are packing up their dorm rooms and starting their summer break. But they could be coming back to much more than classes in the fall. The federal interest rate on student loans is set to double, from 3.4 % to 6.8 % on July 1st.

"We're already here struggling, doing our schoolwork and stuff, and now that we have the added financial burden, it's making things tough for us" college freshman Carlos Espinal said.

"I already have like five loans out so that would hurt me a lot" college sophomore Denzel Hampton added.

And over the course of ten years, the average repayment period for a student loan, that could put students thousands more into debt.

"Students here pay enough loans every year and are just trying to get on the right track to a career, but by the time we get there we have to owe a ridiculous amount of money," Junior Heather Chrosniak

But it's not just those in college disagreeing with the impending hike.

"We have to have as many students who deserve to go to college to be able to go," Senator Charles Schumer said.

Schumer and senators from several other states have introduced legislation to keep the interest rate right where it is now and do no extra harm to those in the loan paying majority.

"Any time a young person deserves to go to college but can't go because they can't afford it or they can't go to the school of their choice because they can't afford it, they lose, the family loses, but America loses too," Schumer added.

The new rate would change only for those student loans signed after July 1st. All current loans would remain at the lower rate.