Federal student loan rates doubled from 3.4% to 6.8% after Congress failed to make a deal to keep them low. The increase has left many college students, like Marshall Peone and Tiffany Cummings, worried about how they will pay off the money they have borrowed in the future.
Between the lack of available jobs and the increase in interest rates on loans, the two current Eastern Washington University Students are worried about how they will pull themselves out of debt.
"For my knowledge, Eastern Washington University is the cheapest college in the state and that's kind of scary," Tiffany said.
It is scary because of how much debt Tiffany will have after she graduates.
"I think last time I checked it was about $60,000," Tiffany said.
However, that is nothing compared to what she says her sister has taken out in loans.
"My sister goes to Washington State University and she is getting an education degree," Tiffany said. "She is going to come out of school almost a hundred thousand dollars in debt to be a teacher, so it's going to take her years and years and years to pay that off."
Paying the loans will mean making sacrifices for the newly engaged couple.
"Right now we have the wedding, which we're trying to do really cheap, but it's still a lot of money," Marshall said. "We've got rent to pay, we have insurance bills, phone bills and we're going to have tuition coming up, so it's a lot."
"I looked into it and with my student loan debt, it's going to be close to $900.00 a month which is close to a mortgage," Tiffany said. "So there's no way we're going to be able to buy a house or anything like that before paying these loans off."
For the past three years, Marshall has been lucky enough to have scholarships. However, that could soon be changing.
"I have a feeling this year I'm going to have to take out a loan," Marshall said.
Now, with interest rates double what they used to be, starting out for the couple is going to be even more difficult.
"It doesn't feel good at all," Marshall said. "Jobs are not out there, we've got higher debt coming in, so it's making it harder for us to function really."
So as they plan ahead, the price tag of the past will weigh heavily on their future. Doubling the interest rates on the federally backed loans will mean each student will end up paying an extra $2,600. However, most students will not see the effects of the change until they apply for loans when they return to school in the fall.