Student Loan Interest Rates

Interest rates of federal student loans vary among programs. Interest rates on private student loans also vary, and can sometimes even vary among programs offered by the same lender. Typically, the interest is calculated on a monthly basis during repayment. Make sure you know if your loan accrues interest while you are enrolled in school, are in a grace period, or are in deferment. Also know if and how often that interest is compounded over time (compounded interest is when interest charged during one month will itself accrue interest during future months).

Federal Perkins – 5% fixed rate

Federal Subsidized Stafford - variable or fixed rate ranging from under 1.79% to 6.8%

Date Disbursed Index In-School Rate Repayment Rate
7/1/11 to 6/30/13 Fixed 3.40% 3.40%
7/1/10 to 6/30/11 Fixed 4.50% 4.50%
7/1/09 to 6/30/10 Fixed 5.60% 5.60%
7/1/08 to 6/30/09 Fixed 6.00% 6.00%
7/1/06 to 6/30/08 Fixed 6.80% 6.80%
7/1/98 to 6/30/06 Variable 1.79% 2.39%
7/1/95 to 6/30/98 Variable 2.59% 3.19%
10/1/92 to 6/30/95 Variable 3.19% 3.19%

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford - variable or fixed rate ranging from under 1.79% to 6.8%

Date Disbursed Index In-School Rate Repayment Rate
7/1/06 to present Fixed 6.80% 6.80%
7/1/98 to 6/30/06 Variable 1.79% 2.39%
7/1/95 to 6/30/98 Variable 2.59% 3.19%
10/1/92 to 6/30/95 Variable 3.19% 3.19%

Federal GradPLUS – fixed rate from 7.9% to 8.5%

Date Disbursed Program Index In-School Rate Repayment Rate
7/1/10 to present Direct Fixed 7.90% 7.90%
7/1/06 to 6/30/10 FFEL Fixed 8.50% 8.50%
7/1/06 to 6/30/10 Direct Fixed 7.90% 7.90%

* Please note that graduate and professional students could only borrow these loans after 7/1/06.

Federal Consolidation – fixed rate up to 8.25%

The rate of a consolidation loan depends on the weighted average of interest rates on all underlying federal loans, rounded to the nearest 1/8%. However, that rate is capped at 8.25%. If you have already consolidated your loans, check with your servicer for your rate.

Private Loans - variable or fixed rate

Each private student loan program created by a bank or credit union may each have unique terms and conditions. While some have fixed rates, others have variable interest rates based on LIBOR or the Prime Rate (plus a percentage). Check with your servicer(s) for your rate(s).

Other education loans – variable or fixed rate

There may be other educational loans offered by your college, a private foundation, state agency, or other groups. But note that the terms and conditions for these loans change depending on where your loan originated. They may have interest rates as low as 0% with no payment required until after graduation. Or they may have higher rates that are either fixed or variable. If you are unsure, check with your lender or servicer for more information.