AUSTIN, Texas -- It will soon cost more to borrow money for college. Beginning Saturday, federal student loan interest rates will increase by less than 1 percent.
While the hike may seem insignificant, some say it will hurt. For many students, loans are a necessary evil.
"It causes me to want to rush through school so I don't have that much debt after graduating," said Breeanna Thomas, a UT student. "But then, I'm so stressed out in school that I end up dropping classes so I have to take out loans all over again."
It's a source of stress that for some, is about to get worse. Beginning Saturday, interest rates for new federal student loans will increase by .69 percentage points.
"You're talking anywhere between [an extra] $8 to $12 on a monthly payment which doesn't sound like a lot but if you compound that over three years, say you're in the middle of undergrad or you just started and this increase happens year after year, you're at a $30 to $40 extra payment," said Jovan Hackley, head of engagement and advocacy for Student Loan Genius.
That's based on a $25,000 loan. The hike comes after the Federal Reserve took a look at the improving economy and decided to increase benchmark interest rates. Some say it's concerning.
"It's worrisome that the government is now trying to sort of quasi-privatize the student loan market. That's always been the place where we've asked students to go to borrow loans at a lower interest rate and the higher that rate creeps up, the closer it appears we're trying to take those rates to market,” said Mechel Dickerson, a professor at UT's School of Law.
Experts say it's time for more solutions to help resolve the growing student loan debt issue.
"One of the things we do is we work with an advocacy coalition that really wants to see government incentivize employers to help pay down student loans," said Hackley. "That way the interest rate's going up on the other side but you got some other help that comes into play."
The hike will impact undergraduates, graduates and parents who borrow for their kids. The new rates only affect loans taken out for the upcoming school year.