Pages tagged "stafford-loans"

How Young People With Debt Spoke Out For The Don't Double Campaign

Young people with personal student debt stories led students to victory in the fight to keep rates from doubling. From Florida to Nevada, they shared their stories and spoke to press -- generating media coverage at key moments that helped influence key swing votes on the Stafford loan bill.One member spoke with local newspapers in her community about how student debt is stopping preventing her from finishing her education and following her dreams.
Alexis Frymoyer, a St. Petersburg resident and 2010 college graduate who has $40,000 in student loan debt, described during the conference call how her debt has paralyzed not only her financial future but that of her family.She is unable to pursue the remainder of education she needs because she cannot afford to take on more student loan debt. And she is unable to qualify for a mortgage beyond $40,000, which she said means she is forced to continue paying rental rates that are higher than a mortgage payment would be.Frymoyer worked four part-time jobs last year "just to make ends meet," she said. Her student loans will take an estimated 25 years to be paid off.
Read additional stories Rebuild the Dream community members shared with the press below.Florida: Students, grads daunted by debt, despite degree, The News-PressFlorida: Stafford Loan drama scares students, Bradenton HeraldNevada: Student Loans Run Deeper Than College, CBS Local KXNT NewsRadioIllinois: Loan Moan, Alton Daily News/WBGZ RadioIllinois: Buddy, can you spare a dime for college?, The Northwest Herald

Watching President Obama sign the student loan interest rate bill

Hi there,Yesterday I went to the White House to see President Obama sign the bill that would keep the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans at 3.4%.I took some pictures... they probably won't win any awards, but I tried:

This bill needed to be passed. It took months of hard work from everyone: campaigners, organizers, researchers, and policy wonks at organizations like Campus Progress, US PIRG, the US Students Association, CREDO, and Rebuild the Dream -- and the tens of thousands of folks who signed petitions, made calls, wrote letters, and shared their student debt stories.But we really, really, really aren't finished here. Keeping the interest rate at 3.4% is the very least that must be done. It's a small step. Just a few days after the bill passed, this happened -- it was a decision that was made months ago, and just recently went into effect:


Lawmakers ended a long-standing program that pays the interest on federally subsidized loans for six months after a student graduates from college. The change applies to new loans issued through July 2014...."It really makes the loans kind of unpredictable and hard to understand for students and families when these changes are happening through the budget process," said Megan McClean, managing director of policy and federal relations for the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, a trade group.

No more grace period. That is unacceptable.When I graduated in 2011, I relied on that interest-free grace period so I could get my life in check. I knew I had 6 months to start paying back my government loans (private student loans? Had to start paying those off immediately) and didn't have to worry about interest building up.I took the money I saved up by working throughout high school and college and moved to Washington, D.C. so I could immediately start working and saving more. I was used to living on my own and I'd been financially independent since starting college. I'd made sure to have a string of good internships to build up a strong resume. Throughout college, it was always in the back of my mind that I'd have to start paying off my loans not long after graduating.That interest-free six months saved me money so I could take a gamble by moving to D.C. and make some big life decisions. That's what you do after college, right?America can't afford to not fund education. When, as a country, you're gearing students up to go to college, you shouldn't just suddenly wipe your hands clean when they hit 18 and say, "Sorry, you're on your own now." And then shovel them off to the side and hit them with high-interest loans, or suddenly take away a 6-month grace period. What message is that sending to students? To young people?We have so far to go, but this campaign was hugely important. It opened up a conversation about student loan debt. It made it a political issue. As young people and students, we have so much support from people all across America. It's exciting. Now we need to keep the momentum going and organize!Let's go!

How did Rebuild the Dream Members Save Billions of Dollars For Students?

Today, President Obama signed a bill that will save students billions of dollars. But Congress didn't send him this bill out of the goodness of their hearts. Last December, Congress eliminated the grace period and lower interest rates for graduate students in budget negotiations -- the only difference now is that students stood up this time to save their benefits.Rebuild the Dream, along with the US Student Association, US PIRG, and Campus Progress, were on the forefront of this issue. Rebuild the Dream members did thousands of phone calls, letters, and more to prevent interest rates from doubling. More than that, they proved that when a group of dedicated people stand up -- they can win.Check out this infographic of all the work you did to make this happen and share or tweet it to tell your friends.


'A Personal Sense of Relief' -- Rebuild the Dream Community Members Share Their Reactions On 'Don't Double'

Over 1,100 Rebuild the Dream members shared their student debt stories. During this process, dozens stood up and emerged as leaders in their communities for the student debt fight. They spoke with the media and congresspeople with a clear message -- we need to pass the bill to prevent Stafford loan rates from doubling. They raised their voices for everyday people, instead of everyday pundits. Now that the fight for to prevent the doubling Stafford loan rates is over, they're ready to keep the fight going for affordable education.Diana from Ohio is inspired. When asked about the recent victory on Stafford loan bill, she shared, "I feel a personal sense of relief that Congress prevented doubling interest rates on student loans, but even more, I am inspired by what a group of determined citizens can achieve."She isn't alone. Mark from Indiana said, "I am glad to hear Congress can get together on a sensible solution when pressured into reason. A salute to Rebuild the Dream for finding passion beyond fear and being a voice of common sense. Thanks for including me in it."Across the country, Americans are relieved student interest rates won't be doubling and ready to continue fighting for affordable education."The victory may not have happened without the dedication and efforts by the team at Rebuild the Dream. They allowed those directly and indirectly affected by student loan interest rate hikes to have their voices be heard by our government officials," said Alexis from Florida. She is ready to keep speaking up for affordable education for future graduates. "With interest rates remaining low, students will be able to improve our society by applying their knowledge and will also be able to financially give back to our economy. This movement is crucial in keeping the American Dream what it is."Throughout the country, Americans are ready to speak out and exercise their power. Levin believes, "We can no longer be complacent if we want to lift ourselves out of the economic calamity transpiring since 2008 and build a sustainable society where all can truly have a chance to obtain our American Dream."Martin is glad Congress reached an agreement, but doesn't believe the legislation goes far enough. "Education can improve the lives of all people, not just students. In order for our country to conquer the social ills and problems we have faced for so long, we need to make financial aid accessible for undergraduate, as well as, graduate degrees."Last week's victory on Stafford loan rates was only the beginning. Check out more stories from the student debt generation on our interactive map and sign up to join the fight to make education affordable and give young people a chance at the American Dream.

You Did It! You Told Congress, 'Don't Double My Rate' and They Listened

How did one movement save students billions of dollars? Find out with the Storify outlining the history of the 'Don't Double My Rate' campaign.[View the story "You Did It! You Told Congress, \"Don't Double My Rate,\" and They Listened" on Storify]

You Did It! You Told Congress, "Don't Double My Rate," and They Listened

How did one movement save students millions of dollars?

Storified by Rebuild the Dream · Mon, Jul 02 2012 19:39:40

Starting in February, Rebuild the Dream, along with US PIRG, US Student Association, and Campus Progress, collected over 130,000 letters to Congress to stop the rates on Stafford loans from doubling. 
Delivering letters today from @RebuildDream @campusprogress @USStudents & @uspirg. Don't double Stafford intrst rate! Katchpole
About to deliver letters from @uspirg @campusprogress @USStudents and @RebuildDream! Don't double interest rates! Katchpole
Students lobby to keep interest rates lowerCNN's Schools of Thought blog covers education from a variety of perspectives that include policies, practices and people. From pre-kinde...
In April, Representative Virginia Foxx, the Chairwoman of the Education and Workforce Committee, made outrageous statements that she had "very little tolerance" for students with education loans. 

Over 112,000 Rebuild the Dream members acted quickly to put her statements in check.
Virginia Foxx, I can't believe you said that.Sometimes elected officials make totally crazy, off the wall statements and nothing happens. And sometimes they make totally crazy, off t...
Could @virginiafoxx be any more out of touch? Click here to find out why she's not fit for the @EdWorkforce Committee Katchpole
I wish I lived in @virginiafoxx 's fantasy land, where it's still possible to earn a college degree without taking on student debt.James Avery
After months of work, the President of the United States joined the campaign to  prevent federal Stafford loan rates from doubling, making appearances at universities across the country and even on the Jimmy Fallon Show.
President Obama Calls on Students to Tell Congress: #DontDoubleMyRatewhitehouse
We Said Don't Double. President Obama Says #DontDoubleMyRateFor months, groups like Rebuild the Dream, US PIRG, Campus Progress and the US Student Association have been campaigning, delivering peti...
Slow Jam The News with Barack Obama: Late Night with Jimmy Fallonlatenight
On May 8th, Republicans in the Senate voted against a bill preventing Stafford rates from doubling to save a corporate tax loophole. 

Rebuild the Dream members responded by doubling their efforts.
Did your Senator stand with students today on #DontDoubleMyRate? (Hint: If they're Republican, probably not.)Rebuild the Dream
[email protected] explains how Republicans blocked the bill to stop interest rates from doubling #DontDoubleMyRateRebuild the Dream
Rebuild the Dream collected over 1,000 student debt stories and directed members to make 16,000 phone calls and write 3,200 letters to local papers.
Student Debt Across the United States | MapBoxRebuild the Dream asked thousands of people across the United States to share their experiences with student debt. Here are their stories.
Thanks, Rebuild the Dream members! Together we made 16,000 phone calls to say #DontDoubleMyRate. the Dream
'Don't Double My Rate' Is In Your Local PaperLast week, Patrick, a Rebuild the Dream member from St. Louis, got his letter to the editor published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Usi...
In May, Molly Katchpole delivered over 43,000 signatures petitioning Sallie Mae to adopt fair lending practices to CEO Albert Lord at the Sallie Mae Shareholder's meeting.
Why Sallie Mae Should Take Google's Advice: Don't Be EvilSallie Mae is the country's largest provider of private student loans - and despite their innocuous name, they're guilty of some pretty a...
43,000 signatures from @RebuildDream members ready to go to @sallie___mae by @mollykatchpole & shareholder proxies. Livoti-Morales
Reporting back on our @RebuildDream petition delivery, @mollykatchpole says that Albert Lord refused to take them! Livoti-Morales
Rebuild the Dream shared infographics, videos, and stories to convey the importance of the Don't Double vote in the student debt fight. 

Over 1,000 members also crowd-funded an ad in Politico on the week of the final vote.
Today, we sent Washington a message with an ad ...Facebook
The Next Economic Crisis: Student Debtrebuildthedream
Watch this video and tell your senators: #DontDoubleMyRate! the Dream
INFOGRAPHIC: 6 Things You Should Know About Student Debt #DontDoubleMyRate the Dream
On June 29, a day before the deadline for the Stafford loan increases, Congress voted to stop rates from doubling.
The house just voted to stop student loan interest rates from doubling. Senate next! #dontdoublemyrateStudentPIRGs
BREAKING: Congress has just passed a bill to stop interest rates from doubling for 7.2 million students. #DontdoublemyrateRebuild the Dream
Wahooo! We Did It!We just saved Americans $22 billion. I'll say it again - it's still sinking in for me! - our movement just saved Americans $22 billion. T...
Van Jones: "When We Fight, We Win"rebuildthedream

Wahooo! We Did It!

We just saved Americans $22 billion. I'll say it again -- it's still sinking in for me! -- our movement just saved Americans $22 billion.The House and Senate just passed a bill to stop a hike on federal student loan interest rates. Congress just avoided a huge catastrophe. But they didn't do it out of the goodness of their hearts. They did it because hundreds of thousands of people stood up and made them do it. WE made them do it.Just look at all the blood, sweat, and phone calls behind this grassroots victory:
  • 330,000 letters and petition signatures
  • 16,000 phone calls
Our Millennial Organizer, 23-year-old Molly Katchpole, deserves a huge high-five on this. From taking on the Sallie Mae shareholder meeting to championing the fight on MSNBC, she has brought energy, passion, and real vision to this win.We saw this fight coming and stood with partners to take it on before it was national news. Together, we MADE it national news. Young people shared their stories with the press. We put Rep. Virginia Foxx in check when she tried to downplay the struggles of students, saying she had "very little tolerance" for people with student debt. President Obama came out strong on the issue, and Mitt Romney quickly followed. In the weeks leading up to the July 1 deadline, our fight was a top national story, and Congress couldn't ignore it.We did this. Now let's show them what else we can do.$22 billion. Dang! :)-VanP.S. -- I know this feels like a moment to sit back and take in the huge victory we just scored. But our fight against student debt and for an economy that works for all is just beginning, and we need to ride this momentum. Make a donation now and let's show everyone that we're only getting started.Savings Explanation: If Congress had failed to act, it would have cost students $22 billion over the next four years. Instead, thanks to your hard work, Congress passed a one-year extension that saves students $6.7 billion this year and leaves the door open to more savings in the future.

This Advertisement is Brought to You By The American People

Every day, politicians read their morning papers, which are filled with ads from well-funded organizations, trade groups and SuperPACs. This week, they got one from the everyday Americans they represent.


Over 1,000 Rebuild the Dream members pitched in to publish this ad, reminding Congress that while we may not have the same lobbying power student loan providers may have, we do have voting power. Now Washington is taking notice, and members of Congress will remember this as they vote on the bill to prevent Stafford loan rates from doubling.This vote could happen any time in the next two days, and it's more important than ever to call your Senators and tell them to keep student loan rates affordable. Click here to find your representatives and make the call.

'Don't Double My Rate' Is In Your Local Paper

Last week, Patrick, a Rebuild the Dream member from St. Louis, got his letter to the editor published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.Using Rebuild the Dream's Letter to the Editor tool, Patrick was able to write his letter and send it straight to the editor of his local paper. “Without the help of Rebuild the Dream, I would not have been able to help spread the word about the current student loan interest rate increase. I hope more people use their resources to get the message out,” said Patrick.We're glad to see these letters springing up across the country and want you to join in on the fun.Read Patrick's letter and write one of your own using Rebuild the Dream's letter to the editor tool.
A big dealOn July 1, the interest rate on government-subsidized Stafford loans will double. College students can't take on more debt, yet Congress hasn't made any substantial moves to prevent the rate from doubling.When banks can borrow money at near-zero percent interest, it is absurd for the interest rates to double for student loans.Student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. Congress should be told that students can't afford for the interest rate to double. This is a big deal.Patrick from St. Louis
Did you read another Don't Double My Rate letter in your local paper? Or did your letter get published? Share in the comments!

With 10 Days Until Stafford Rates Double, Here's What You Can Do

We have less than 10 days remaining before rates on federal Stafford loans are set to double. What are you going to do to stop it?For those of you new to this issue, July 1st is when the low interest rates on federal Stafford loans expire, doubling rates on millions of students attending college this fall. Without this new plan, students borrowing the maximum could pay up to an additional $5,000 over the repayment of their loan.Keeping education affordable with financial aid is a no-brainer. Congress was set to pass this bill in May before Senate Republicans voted to defeat a bill that would have kept federal Stafford rates low, in order to save a corporate tax loophole. With the clock ticking, we need you to take action now before the July 1st deadline. Here's how you can help!

1. Make Calls (Or Get Your Friends To Make Calls)

Did your senators vote against Don't Double in May? Tell them that you noticed and will be voting.Click here to use our call tool. If your senator voted against the last bill, we'll give you the office number, a script, and 5-second quick survey to keep track of your calls. When Senate offices get a large number of phone calls from their constituents on one issue, they take notice.If you get an error message, your senators are already on board. Share the call tool with your friends in different states.

2. Change Your Profile Picture

Do your friends know their student loan rates will be doubling this year? Help your friends out. Spread the word by changing your profile picture. We've set up a tool to add a "Don't Double My Rate" ribbon on your Twitter or Facebook profile. After you change your profile picture, be sure to change your status and let your friends know the July 1st deadline is closer than they think.

3. Write a Letter to the Editor

Your congressional offices read every local newspaper and every editorial in those papers. Make your statement somewhere they can't ignore you.Use our Letter to the Editor tool to write a letter to your local newspaper.Editorials in support of Don't Double My Rate are already springing up across the country, but they need to hear your story, and they need to hear it soon.We're counting on you to win this fight to reduce student debt, so spread the word by clicking the "Like" and "Tweet" buttons on this post when you're done.

Sen. Rubio still paying off student loans, votes for doubling Stafford loan interest rate

Well, this is eye opening.Senator Marco Rubio released a short video statement after Tuesday's vote on the subsidized Stafford loan interest rate, saying in part:
“I think I am one of the only senators here who still has a student loan... As someone with a student loan and with a state with so many people with student loans, I support a hundred percent making sure that the interest rates on student loans do not go up.”
Sen. Rubio voted with 44 other Republicans to block debate on the proposal.What Rubio didn't say was that the Republican proposal would completely deplete a public health fund in order to pay for the bill.