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Private Student Loan Interest Rates

Interest rates on private student loans are currently offer variable rates as low as 1.04%. You should always take advantage of federal student aid, including federal loans, first. But if you’re still short on the money you need to pay for school, private student loans can be a good solution. Some people can even qualify for more competitive interest rates and lower fees in private student loans. 

Federal Student Loan vs. Private Student Loan Interest Rate

Federal student loan rates are the same fixed rate for all borrowers regardless of credit score. These rates are updated yearly on July 1st.

Private student loan interest rates are competitive and based on current market trends. The rate you receive for a private student loan with depend on your credit score or that of your creditworthy cosigner.

Quickly compare federal and private student loan interest rates with the tables below.

Federal Student Loans for 2020-2021

Loan Type Rate
Subsidized  2.75%
 Unsubsidized  2.75%
 PLUS  5.30%

 

Private Student Loans for 2020-2021

Loan Type Rate
Lowest In-School Student Loan Rate 1.04% *

*Rates updated monthly

Below are some of the most competitive loan products available.

Compare Featured  Private Student Loan Lenders

Recommendation
Best for Private Loans
Interest Rates

Variable Rates: 1.13% APR - 11.23% APR1

Fixed Rates: 4.25% APR - 12.59% APR1

Repayment Terms

N/A

Recommendation
Best for Private Loans
Interest Rates

Variable rates as low as: 1.04% APR1

Fixed rates as low as: 3.34% APR1

Repayment Terms

5, 8, 10 or 15 years

Recommendation
Best for Private Loans
Interest Rates

Variable: 1.24% APR - 11.99% APR2

Fixed: 4.24% APR - 12.59% APR2

Repayment Terms

N/A

Recommendation
Best for Private Loans
Interest Rates

Variable rates as low as: 2.13% APR1

Fixed rates as low as: 3.58% APR1

Repayment Terms

5, 7, 10, 12 and 15 years

Recommendation
Best for Private Loans
Interest Rates

Variable rates as low as: 1.04% APR1

Fixed rates as low as: 3.34% APR1

Repayment Terms

5, 7, 10, 12 or 15 years

Recommendation
Best for Private Loans
Interest Rates

Variable as low as: 4.13% APR1

Fixed as low as: 3.99% APR1

Repayment Terms

5, 10 or 15 years


Student Loan Origination Fees

Federal Student Loan Origination Fee

Federal student loans are all charged an origination fee. This is a percentage of the total loan that the lender (in this case the federal government) charges to fund the loan. This origination fee is deducted from the total loan amount prior to disbursement. Federal student loan origination fees are set every year on October 1 for loans disbursed from October 1 through September 30. Origination fees depend on the type of federal student loan, as outlined below.

For loans disbursed from Oct. 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021

Direct Subsidized or Direct Unsubsidized Loans for undergraduate students: 1.057%

Direct Unsubsidized Loans for graduate students: 1.057%

Direct PLUS (for parents and graduate or professional students): 4.228%

Private Student Loan Origination Fee

Some private lenders may charge an origination fee for a private student loan, but most do not. In fact, the lenders we promote on our website charge zero origination fees. Be sure to read the details of the loan program to understand whether any other fees, like late fees, may come into the picture.

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Average Private Student Loan Interest Rate

The average interest rate on private student loans is difficult to calculate as it depends on several factors such as lender, creditworthiness, loan terms, current market trends, and length of the loan. The lowest advertised private student loan interest rate may be lower than the fixed rate offered by the federal government. But the rate you receive may be higher. Private student loan rates may be fixed or variable and fluctuate with market trends. To get the best possible rate, apply with a creditworthy cosigner. For a historical view of average student loan interest rates, we break down the numbers here.

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