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Interest rates on student loans will rise rapidly: NPR

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Interest rates on student loans will rise rapidly: NPR

Carries the burden of student loans.

There’s so much talk these days about when and whether President Biden will abolish student debt altogether – and payments and interest on that debt have been suspended for more than two years – it’s easy to forget that the federal student loan systems remains unchanged. And one part of this system may come as a shock to many borrowers: interest rates are probably rising quite a bit.

“We’re going to get bad news,” says Robert Kelchen, a higher education finance expert at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Interest rates on federal student loans are fixed as on mortgages. The student who took a new, undergraduate loan this academic year received a good percentage: 3.73%. And this loan will remain for the entire term of the loan.

The sum, Kelchen says, is that “interest rates are updated every year based on the profitability of the 10-year treasury plus some extra amount,” a premium added to cover government spending.

That is, borrowers who need help next year will have to take a new loan at a new interest rate. Federal student loan rates change each May based on a U.S. Treasury Department auction of 10-year notes designed for Wednesday, May 11, at 1 p.m. ET.

And this is bad news for borrowers, because this year, as in the case of mortgage rates and almost everything else, interest rates on student loans are sure to rise.

Until we know exactly how much they will grow, we can make some reasonable assumptions applying some basic mathematics prescribed by federal law, to the current 10-year Treasury rate3.06% at the time of writing.

For example, the current student interest rate of 3.73% will jump to 5.1%.

What is the difference between 3.73% and 5.1%? With a loan of $ 5,500 (the maximum for first-year undergraduate students), the borrower will pay more than $ 435 percent over 10 years.

The change could have an even greater impact on graduate students and parents who are allowed to take larger loans, but at higher rates than student borrowers (not to mention the need to pay a higher loan fee in advance, 4.2% vs. 1.1%).

Based on the latest 10-year Treasury rate, interest rates on graduate loans are likely to jump from the current 5.28% to around 6.66% and on PLUS parent loans from 6.28% to around 7.66%.

These loans are not limited as student loans, and are limited only to the school’s price list, which helps explain why Parent PLUS ‘average annual loan exceeds $ 14,000. What difference can such a potential increase in the interest rate on this type of loan have?

In 10 years, one parent will pay an additional $ 1,194 as interest.

A higher rate for parents combined with more tolerable debt and less generous access to income-based repayment options led many families to financial ruin.

For potential borrowers wondering if they could do better in the private loan market, “just remember that the federal student loan program pretty much involves issuing loans without any credit check. Everyone gets the same terms. It’s kind of like no questions.” , – says Jason Delil, a senior researcher at the City Institute.

And so, says Delil, “the rate will be much lower than the one you get in the private market for a similar type of loan – if you could even find something like that.”

To find out how much more you will have to pay as interest, there is no shortage of student loan calculators, including here it is and here it is.

NPR seeks to report on pressing issues that are important to you, such as student loans. Sign up for our education newsletter to stay up to date. You can support reliable, vital NPR coverage donate to your local NPR station today.

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