Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Apr 24, 2012

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The political party leaders appear to unanimously agree on the issue of student loans, as both of the party front runners have announced their support for extending the interest rate legislation that is scheduled to expire on July 1, 2012.

With the number of students borrowing student loans closing in on 60 percent, both democrats and republicans have announced that they believe the interest rate reduction should be extended.

The interest rate reduction legislation, which was originally passed in 2007, is artificially holding the interest rate for government-backed college financing down at 3.4 percent. However, come July 1 of this year, that legislation is set to expire, and the interest rate will spring up to 6.8 percent—something both students and politicians say is unmanageable right now.

“I support extending the temporary relief on interest rates for students [due to] extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market,” said Mitt Romney this week, according to the Examiner.

President Obama has been very vocal about his support for the interest rate extension, as this year’s State of the Union address contained a whole segment in which the president pleaded with Congress and lawmakers to unite and extend the legislation.

“At a time when Americans owe more in tuition debt than credit card debt, this Congress needs to stop the interest rates on student loans from doubling in July. Extend the tuition tax credit we started that saves millions of middle-class families thousands of dollars,” the president demanded in his State of the Union speech.

But Ron Paul, who has a huge college-aged following, surprisingly supports a move that’s directly opposite of what the majority of his constituency wants. Paul has vowed to try to end federal student loans all together if he were elected president.

“Just think of all this willingness to want to help every student get a college education,” began Paul, as he started to explain his thinking behind a proposal to end federal student loans, close five government departments—including the Department of Education—and ultimately eliminate all of the government entities that are, in his opinion, causing the high cost of a college education. “I went to school when we had none of those. I could work my way through college and medical school because it wasn’t so expensive.”

Paul believes his plan would cut $1 trillion from the federal budget.