What are Student Loan Interest Rates
The interest rate is a percentage of a sum of loan money that is charged to a borrower by a lender for the use of that money over a pre-determined period of time. Interest usually continues to be charged until the loan is paid in full. Student loan rates vary by product and lender so compare student loan options before applying.
Below you will find an overview of various interest rates by various education loan program. To the left you will find links to more detailed rate information by student loan product. As it is the most popular loan program, and offers the best rates, we will cover the federal Stafford Loan rates first...
Student Loan Rates Introduction
Stafford Loan Interest Rates
|Academic Year||Subsidized Rates||Unsubsidized/Graduate Rates|
Current Stafford Loan interest rates in effect from 07/01/2012 to 06/30/2013
*Subsidized interest rates are set to increase from 3.4% to 6.8% unless Congress acts by July 1, 2013. Stay up-to-date on interest rate changes and get the latest Stafford loan news at StudentLoanNetwork.com.
PLUS Loan Interest Rates
Currently, Parent and Graduate PLUS loans originated in the 2012-2013 academic year are set at 7.9% fixed APR. To learn more about PLUS loans, visit: PLUS Student Loans for College.
Perkins Loan Interest Rates
Perkins Loans currently carry a 5 percent interest rate. To learn more, visit our Perkins Loans page.
Alternative Student Loan Interest Rates
Private student loan interest rates are determined differently than federal student loan interest rates. Typically, banks offer borrowers a variable rate (either the LIBOR rate or or Prime Rate) plus an additional margin added on. Interest is charged from the day the loan is made. You can typically either start repaying the loan right away or defer payment while you are in school. Interest will accumulate and be added to the loan balance at graduation or 6 month later - when repayment typically begins. Again, all private student loan programs are different, so consider each one carefully.