ATLANTA -- Millions of college students with federally subsidized Stafford loans were in for a shock today.
Interest rates on their student loans doubled. There's been lots of talk on Capitol Hill to extend the existing rates for another year, but no action.
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For students like Theene Christian, majoring in Biology and Mathematics at Georgia State University, it's a devastating financial blow.
"I'm sad. My parents are struggling. I am struggling. I am actually working right now to pay for school as well because all of my loans, plus my scholarship will not cover everything, so the fact that the interest rate is going to double and once I graduate -- to pay all of that back will be very difficult," she said.
As of today (Monday July 1), the rate skyrocketed from 3.4% to 6.8% with students averaging $26,000 in loans to make it through school.
And Christian is not alone.
"I think that it's absolutely awful because you don't have much money as a student to work with in the first place," said Marquia Fisher, another Georgia State student.
And students are not the only ones feeling the financial pain, it echoes through University financial offices as well.
"Its very difficult for them to go to school as it is. It's very difficult so for me seeing it I am disheartened because I don't have other avenues I can point them towards," said Willetta Shelby, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Georgia State University.
But despite what the doubling of the interest is adding to what could take years to pay back, students share a strong sense of responsibility when it comes to paying off the loans.
"Hopefully yes. I intend to. Pay back every dime," Fisher said.
And to help you navigate through all of the available student loan programs, go to 11Alive.com and search the Help Desk.