University of Montana students respond to loan interest rate increase


Student loan interest rates are going up on July 1, 2017, according to the Department of Education.

The undergraduate interest rate will increase to 4.5 percent. That's up from 3.76 percent.

Graduate student loans go up to 6 percent, from 5.31.

We asked Kent McGowen, Director of Financial Aid at the University of Montana, if students had alternaties to paying higher interest, or some means to offset it.

He said, "The reality is, they really don't have a choice. These loans are fixed by law, the interest rates."

Director McGowen suggested that students educate themselves about loans before borrowing.

Some students we talked to on campus said they are trying to get scholarships instead of taking loans.

"I worked really hard, and so did some of these other kids, to try to get as many scholarships as I could," Sean Rice, University of Montana student.

The rates were based on the Treasury Department's May 10th auction of 10-year notes.