The House approved a measure Wednesday to link interest rates on student loans to financial markets, sending the compromise legislation to the president’s desk after a lengthy back-and-forth between Congress and the White House.
The vote was 392-31.
President Barack Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law.
The move will reduce student loan rates in the short term -- after they doubled on July 1 to 6.8 percent.
That interest rate now drops to 4.6 percent under the new bill.
But critics say the deal could result in increases to the interest rates each subsequent year as the economy improves.
The approval follows passage of a compromise bill in the Senate, which capped interest rates at 8.25 percent for undergraduates, 9.5 percent for undergraduates and 10.5 percent for parents.
That deal was reached over the objections of some Senate Democrats, who said that the link between interest rates and the financial markets could eventually result in unfairly high rates despite the caps.
An earlier version of the bill, before the Senate changes, passed the House 221-198.
First published July 31 2013, 3:40 PM