A plan to lock in the subsidized 3.4 percent rate for another year for one type of federal student loan commonly used by undergraduates failed in the Senate Wednesday on a procedural vote. Lawmakers continue to negotiate the issue.

These federal Stafford loans have been subsidized at a rate of 3.4 percent by the government for the past two years, but on July 1, the rates doubled to 6.8 percent. While these changes don't affect all students, loan debt remains a pressing concern for many students and recent graduates.