Student Loan Rates Rise As Congress Takes a Vacation: 5 Things to Know for the Week

Simon Zhen

Updated on Thu Dec 4, 2014

No deal between lawmakers have been able to stave off the interest rate hike that affects millions of student loan borrowers. Meanwhile, Congress will enjoy its 10-day July 4 holiday break.

weeklydig / Flickr |

weeklydig / Flickr source

  • With the new quarter also comes new bonus cash back categories for certain credit cards. Chase Freedom, Discover it, Citi Dividend and U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature cardmembers can earn 5% cash back on a new set of purchase categories. Many of the new categories cater toward summer spending. Remember though, cardmembers have to enroll in order to earn the bonus cash back.
  • Starting Monday, the automatic rate increase for federal student loans will take effect. The rate hike has been the center of constant debate between lawmakers, who failed to come to an agreeable bill by the deadline. Millions of college students see the interest rates on their federal student loans double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
  • On July 4, Capital One 360 (formerly ING DIRECT) will continue its Independence Day tradition of offering various deals for new accounts signups. The undisclosed deals include cash bonuses for applying for new deposit and brokerage accounts. MyBankTracker will post more detail on these deals when they become available.
  • On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report on June’s employment situation. Since the Federal Reserve has pegged its interest-rate policy to the jobs market, everyone is watching the unemployment rate. In May, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, up from 7.5 percent in April. The Fed’s target unemployment rate is 6.5 percent.
  • As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, eighteen of the nation’s largest banks will have submit mid-year stress test results to the Federal Reserve Board on Friday. The central bank will not be conducting their own tests. The results of the stress tests, which examine an institution’s ability to withstand financial crises, will be made public in September.

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