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House approves lower rates on student loans


WASHINGTON (AP) -- At least for the coming school year, a bipartisan bill passed by the House will lower the cost of borrowing for millions of students.
 
The measure, which passed on a vote of 392-31, awaits the signature of President Barack Obama.
 
Undegraduates this fall will borrow at a 3.9 percent increase rate for subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Graduate students would have access to loans at 5.4 percent, and parents would borrow at 6.4 percent.
 
The rates would be locked in for that year's loan, but each year's loan could be more expensive than the last. That's because interest rates will be linked to the financial markets. That means the rates will climb as the economy improves.
 
Interest rates would not top 8.25 percent for undergraduates. The White House endorsed the deal over objections from consumer advocates that the proposal could cost future students.