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Private student loans are often used as a way of bridging the college financing gap when federal loans and financial aid are low. But since they are offered by private lenders, not the federal government, private student loan interest rates can vary widely based on several factors.

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Current student loan interest rates are relatively low compared to the same period last year, according to credible data. While interest rates on 10-year, fixed-rate private student loans tend to increase at the beginning of the academic year, they rose to a lower rate than in 2020.

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Interest rates on 5-year, variable-rate private student loans are also the same as last year. During the second week in September 2020, the average rate on variable-rate loans was 3.39%, compared to 3.19% for the same week in 2021.

Keep reading to learn how you can lock in a lower private student loan rate and save money on your college financing plan. You can do this Browse Student Loan Rates From actual private lenders in the table below.

1 October FAFSA applications open for the 2022-23 school year

How to Find a Good Private Student Loan Interest Rate

Federal student loans have fixed interest rates that depend on the type of loan you have borrowed and when you borrowed it. But private student loan interest rates can vary based on several factors, such as the borrower’s credit score, loan amount, and length of repayment term.

Here are some ways to make sure you get the lowest possible private student loan rate for your situation.

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Find a Credit Qualified Cosigner

Student loan rates are based in part on the creditworthiness of the borrower, but many budding college students do not have the opportunity to build up a good credit history before going to college. This is why many student borrowers rely on a cosigner to get a lower interest rate.

A recent credible analysis found that student loan borrowers with a credit score less than 620 were able to reduce their rate by an average of 4 percentage points by adding a cosigner. The amount you can save depends on your cosigner’s credit score.

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Before asking someone to sign off on your student loans, get a clear picture of the annual percentage rate (APR), student loan fees, and repayment examples. You can do this View Student Loan Rates And repayment options on Credible without impacting your credit score.

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Shop With Multiple Lenders

Since personal loan interest rates vary depending on the lender, it’s important to compare offers from multiple lenders to make sure you’re getting a good rate.

Most private student loan lenders let you check your estimated interest rate with a soft credit check, which won’t hurt your credit score. That way, you can choose the best offer for your situation—usually the one with the lowest APR—before applying.

Well-qualified borrowers may be able to save more than $5,000 on their student loan debt by comparing student loan interest rates before choosing a lender. according to a reliable analysis.

You can do this Compare Student Loan Repayment Plans Trusted but for free.

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Sign up for automatic payment discounts

Select online lenders will offer a lower interest rate if you sign up for a direct payment that is automatically deducted from your bank account. An autopay discount can be a good way to reduce the amount you pay in interest, while ensuring that you never miss a student loan payment.

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