Student Interest Rate Hike

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"It keeps adding up," says MSU senior Jessica Banion, of her debt.

By the time she graduates, she's not sure how much she'll owe.

"I just consolidated $30,000 worth of debt," Banion says.

Jessica's situation is very typical, and she's on top of what will be her problem--interest rates go up July 1.

Her $30,000 consolidation locks her in at 4.7 percent interest rate. Her interest is a little more than $7,500 dollars. She's protecting herself from the new 6.8 percent rate, saving more than $3,000.

"Make sure you do your homework, that you are an educated consumer and that you know what your signing," advises Liz Stallard, a financial aid director at Lansing Community College. She says her answer to the question, "Should I consolidate?" depends on your situation.

"If you are a graduate," she says, "and you can lock in at the lower rate, I would definitely lock in at the lower rate."

If you're still in school, Stallard says just know consolidating it may change when you start to pay your loan.