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interest rates

After doubling on July 1, student loan interest rates for millions of Americans will be restored to 3.86 percent.

President Barack Obama signed a student loan bill late Friday afternoon designed to keep interest rates low - at least for now - by tying them to the financial markets.

Economists predict the new rates for undergraduates will remain lower than expected in the coming years.

Alex Thompson

During the recession, like a weed in a drought, student loan debt was the only kind of consumer debt that continued to rise.

It increased from $550 billion at the start of the recession to nearly $1 trillion at the beginning of this year. It’s a crippling economic problem, says financial planner Jeff Cutter.

"That debt is actually causing young people to push back many of life’s milestones," Cutter said.

Getting married. Buying a house. Putting money away for retirement. Cutter says if Congress allows interest rates on subsidized loans to double at a time when students are already facing a tough job market, it could stall any economic recovery.

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