Financial aid advisors talk rising student interest rates - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Financial aid advisors discuss rising student interest rates

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

College can be the first taste of freedom for many young adults, but with that freedom comes obligations -- like finances. 

"Every student is offered a loan, and then each student then has to decide what do they need to be able to help go to school," said Taina Savoit, Director of Financial Aid at McNeese State University. 

Savoit says it's her responsibility to help students with those tough financial decisions. 

"The subsidized student loan is the best one to go ahead and get because the government is paying the interest while the students are in school," Savoit said. 

The direct subsidized student loan is one of four federal loans offered to undergraduate students. The interest rates for all four have doubled. Even in the midst of the increasing rates, there is some good news.

Savoit says students who received loans before July 1, 2013, will continue to pay at a 3.4 percent interest rate. For students in the process of receiving federal loans, they'll be hit with the higher 6.8 percent rate, adding nearly $4,000 of student loan debt to the average student. 

"Even though... it's only $4,000, that $4,000 grows from there...  that's why it would be nice for interest rates to stay as low as possible," Savoit said. 

Since the higher rates are taking effect near the end of McNeese's summer session, Savoit says she doesn't have to adjust a lot of things. Instead, she's already preparing for the fall on how to better advise students. 

"Try and live within their means of being able to go to school... To be a college student and get exactly -- only borrow what you need to -- in order to stay focused on school," said Savoit. 

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