From WILL - News Local/State -

Durbin Urges House Passage of Student Loan Measure

U.S. Senator DIck Durbin at the University of Illinois

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin speaks at the Illini Union, joined by Provost Ilesanmi Adesida, and students who have taken advantage of federal loans. (Jeff Bossert/WILL)

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) is urging quick House passage of a new federal student loan program that cuts interest rates.

In an appearance at the University of Illinois’ Illini Union Friday, Durbin praised his chamber’s 81-to-18 vote on the measure Wednesday. 

The bill would cut interest rates for loans in the next school year from 6.8 to 3.8 percent, and caps on interest rates at 8.25 percent for the next ten years. 

Durbin said it gives those taking government loans a better chance to succeed as they graduate and build a future. 

But the Senator says passage of this plan is just one step.

 “We will start in a matter of weeks – the higher ed reauthorization," he said.  "Where we’ll take a look at the overall contours of higher education in America today to try to find ways to make it affordable and within the grasp of students from working families.”

Durbin said student loan debt is growing faster than the debt accumulated on credit cards, totaling more than $1-trillion.

He also cited the amount taken in by for-profit schools like the University of Phoenix and DeVry - schools with the highest default rates on student loans-just under 50-percent.