LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Interest rates on federally subsidized student loans doubled Monday after Congress failed to take any action against the increase.

The interest rates on Stafford loans for college students increased from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

“It’s about $1,000 over the life of this loan and that freshman student that takes out a loan, when they’re a sophomore, junior or senior and all of a sudden it’s $4,000 or more dollars in additional costs that isn’t necessary,” Democratic Congressman from the Bay Area George Miller told KNX1070.

“The only reason this has happened is because the Republicans have insisted that they want a higher interest rate so the students can pay back the national deficit,” Miller said. “It seems ridiculous to put the national debt on the back of students.”

The increase was set to take place this time last year, but Congress passed an extension at the last minute.

“I think there will be a vote in the Senate and the Democratic leadership will put up a simple one year extension of the simple 3.4 percent interest rates and keep them from doubling,” Miller said.

Federally subsidized Stafford loans are given to undergraduate students based on financial need.

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