Interest rates on PLUS Loans are fixed. The current interest rates for new PLUS Loans in @AYCurrent are @PLIRCurrent% for parents of undergraduate students (Parent PLUS Loans) and for graduate students (Grad PLUS Loans). This rate is subject to change for 2018-2019 in July 2018.

Recent Changes

On August 9, 2013 President Obama signed the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-28), changing how student loan interest rates are determined. The bill links interest rates on new PLUS Loans to the 10-year Treasury rate, plus a fixed margin of 4.6%, capped at 10.5%. The new rates for 2013-2014 were retroactive, effective for all loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2013. The interest rates on new loans are still fixed for the life of the loan; however, the each year’s new loans will have different fixed rates, based on current market rates. The interest rates on new PLUS Loans in subsequent years will change each July 1 based on the yield of the last 10-year Treasury auction in May.

PLUS Loan Interest Rates

Interest rates on Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS Loans are the same. Students attending graduate school and professional school were first able to borrow the Grad PLUS Loan in the 2006-2007 academic year.

Before 2010-2011, there were two parallel federal loan programs, the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and the Direct Loan Program. The PLUS Loan was available in both loan programs, but with slightly different interest rates from 2006-2007 to 2009-2010. No new loans have been made in the FFEL program since it was discontinued on July 1, 2010.


Before 2006-2007, interest rates on PLUS Loans were variable. The next table shows the variable interest rates on PLUS Loans in effect at the time the loans were disbursed.


Fees on PLUS Loans


Loan Disbursement and Default Fees

Loan disbursement and default fees are effectively a form of up-front interest. Assuming a 10-year repayment term, a 4% fee is the equivalent of an increase in the interest rate of about seven-eighths to one percentage point. Assuming a 30-year repayment term, a 4% fee is the equivalent of an increase in the interest rate of about one-third to half a percentage point. The relative impact of a fee is greater with a shorter repayment term or if the borrower prepays the loan, since the fee will be amortized over less time. This is why borrowers who plan to pay off a loan early may wish to avoid up-front fees, if possible.