Student Loan Interest Rates of September 2022 – Investopedia

Student loan rates are currently some of the lowest we’ve seen in history. However, while the rates might look attractive, there are still some things to consider before you take on student loan debt in this volatile economic climate.
The interest rate for undergraduate federal Stafford loans issued from July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2022, is 3.73%—up from 2.75% the previous year.
All months of payment suspension will count as “qualifying payments” for borrowers working toward forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program or on an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan.
In fall 2020, colleges and universities opened their classrooms and dorm rooms again, with noticeable trends (both expected and unexpected) following soon after. Within the first few weeks of resuming classes, as expected, many schools had postponed sports, reported widespread quarantines, and switched in-person classes to virtual.
Less expected were the trends with enrollment. Many thought that community colleges would see higher enrollment during the pandemic, but early data showed that fall enrollment was up for some large public universities, while enrollment at community colleges that serve many low-income students was down as much as 30%.
Try to take out no more in student loans than what you expect to make in your first year out of school.
Student debt continues to be an epidemic in our society. Since the 2007–2008 Great Recession, federal funding for public universities has decreased by 22%, while tuition costs have risen 27%. This has led to student loan debt that has surpassed $1.6 trillion. The debt may get worse if the education system is forced to undergo more budget cuts and more unemployed Americans take advantage of low interest rates to go back to school.
There is an origination fee of 1.057% for federal direct subsidized loans and direct unsubsidized loans, in addition to 4.228% for parent PLUS loans. This fee isn’t added to your repayment; rather, it’s deducted from your initial loan disbursement.
Private lenders set a range for interest rates. Your actual rate will be based on the creditworthiness of you and your cosigner. According to Bankrate, private student loan annual percentage rates (APRs) are currently:
Federal student loans and most private student loans use a simple interest formula to calculate student loan interest. This formula consists of multiplying your outstanding principal balance by the interest rate factor and multiplying that result by the number of days since you made your last payment.
The interest rate factor is used to calculate the amount of interest that accrues on your loan. It is determined by dividing your loan’s interest rate by the number of days in the year.
Federal student loan interest rates for the fall are determined by the 10-year Treasury note auction every May, plus a fixed increase with a cap.
Private student loan interest rates are determined by each lender based on market factors and the borrower’s and cosigner’s creditworthiness. Most private lenders also offer a variable interest rate, which typically fluctuates monthly or quarterly with overnight lending rates such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR).
While federal student loans don’t take into account credit scores and income, these factors play a big role in private lenders’ decisions. Students who don’t meet lenders’ credit requirements will need a cosigner. The 2017 Annual Report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Student Loan Ombudsman noted that more than 90% of private student loans were made with a cosigner. However, even if you don’t have a good credit score or cosigner, there are lenders that offer student loans for bad credit and student loans without a cosigner.
The 10-year Treasury rate saw record lows in 2020, and, as a result, federal student loan rates beginning July 1, 2021, are some of the lowest in history.
With federal student loan rates at record lows, now might be the best time in history to take out a student loan. Always exhaust all your options for federal student loans first by using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, then research the best private student loans to fill in any gaps. Whether you choose federal or private loans, only take out what you need and can afford to repay.
If you have private student loans, this may be a great time to refinance. All of the best student loan refinance companies are offering competitive rates and can cater to unique debt situations.
Federal Student Aid. “Understand How Interest Is Calculated and What Fees Are Associated with Your Federal Student Loan.”
Inside Higher Ed. “A Tough Year for Community Colleges.”
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “Rising Student Debt and the Great Recession.”
Bankrate. “Student Loan Interest Rates in February 2022.”
Federal Student Aid. “Interest Rates for Direct Loans First Disbursed Between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.”
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “2017 Annual Report of the CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman,” Page 24.
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