Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree: It would be a mistake to let interest rates on student loans double in July. Especially if they’re going to be blamed for it in an election year, the Associated Press reports. Student loans have become a political football in recent weeks, with Democrats and Republicans maneuvering to point fingers in case Congress fails to pass legislation to prevent rates from rising this summer. The rhetoric has created confusion – and perhaps unnecessary alarm – about what’s really at stake. The issue centers on a type of federal loan that’s reserved for undergraduate students. The interest rate on these Stafford loans is set to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1. The problem is that Congress can’t agree on exactly how to fund a one-year extension of the current rate, which the government estimates would cost $6 billion. The debate is touching a nerve because it underscores the broader problem of college affordability and ever-increasing levels of student debt…

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