On July 1st, interest rates on Federal Subsidized Loans will double to 6.8 percent, unless Congress steps in.
More than 7 million undergraduates have subsidized loans. That means they aren't charged interest before they begin repaying after school, but once they graduate they may be surprised if they're not careful.
The average student loan debt of a Missouri State University student is more than $22,000, adding to the almost $1 trillion in student loan debt in the country.
Now with the threat of interest rates doubling, financial aid officers say students should be extra careful..
"Students really just see this money sitting in their bank account and think, 'Great. I can just go spend it on what I need to.' No thoughts about someday you need to repay this," said Jackie Lewis, Office of Student Financial Aid at MSU
The current interest rate on Federal Subsidized Loans is fixed at 3.4 percent.
In 2007, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act reduced the interest rates over four years from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent.
Now, the rates are scheduled to be increased back to 6.8 percent.
"This is a normal cycle that the loans go through and what the Stafford Loans have always gone through. We go lower, lower, lower and once we hit that low interest they bring it back up."
The increased interest rate will only affect students taking out loans for the next school, but may add almost 5,000 dollars of interest to a student's debt over the course of ten years.
"They were trying to encourage me to take out loans now rather then later that way I wasn't going to have to pay double what it is at this point," said Rebekah Allen, MSU student.
"I have no way of paying for it now unless I use loans to pay for loans and that's silly so instead I try to borrow as little as possible," said MSU student Ruby Karamitros.
Another piece of advice: only borrow the amount you need.
"The students who have the largest amount of loans are the ones that say give me every dollar I can have without any plan for what they'll do with the money."
More students are struggling to pay back their loans.
Research says late loan payments rose almost 15 percent in 2011 from the year before.
Students graduating in 2012 could also lose out on their interest rate deferment during their 6 month grace period after graduation.