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Student Loan Rates
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Denise Said:Have student loan rates gone up since Obama changed the program?l?
We Answered:No, they have brought them down. They have also placed measures to help people with repayment, such as how much you can spend on repayment is less than 15% of your income, if you haven't paid it off in 25 years and have been religiously paying it then it will be forgiven, and if you get a public-service job it is forgiven after only 10 years.
Lance Said:Question about student loan rates?
We Answered:You need to find out whether your loans have variable interest rates or fixed interest rates.
The federal government changed Stafford loan interest rates starting with the 06-07 academic year (July 1, 2006).
Any Stafford loan taken out July 1, 2006 or later has a fixed interest rate of 6.8%. That means the interest rate will never change for the life of the loan.
Prior to July 1, 2006, Stafford loans had variable interest rates that were reset by the federal government in July of every year. As you can imagine, there are plenty of former college students that are still paying off loans with a variable interest rate, so they are still determining a new interest rate every July 1 for the loans that are still variable. If you have a Stafford loan with a variable interest rate, then when you consolidate, the interest rate that it is at the time you consolidate will become fixed until the consolidation loan is repaid in full (in short, consolidating fixes your interest rate). If you are consolidating more than one loan, they will take an average of both/all interest rates and that will be your new fixed rate for the consolidation loan.
So, if all of your loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.8%, then the interest rate that is determined for variable interest rate Stafford loans in July will have absolutely no effect on your loans because it is not applicable to them. If the interest rate on all of your loans is 6.8% fixed, then the average when consolidated will be 6.8%, also fixed.
To determine whether or not your loans have a fixed or variable interest rate, you can see your full loan history and information online at www.nslds.ed.gov (National Student Loan Data System). You will need your social security, name, dob, and FAFSA PIN to log on. Or just call your lender and ask.
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