Only a few students go through the entire school year without collecting a loan of some sort. But that is not the hard part. The challenging part is paying back the loan. However, some students prefer to know how the interest rate will be determined so that calculations and projections can be made. If this sounds like you, then you are in the right place. This article will explain what interest rates are, how they are determined for student loans, and how they affect your loan at the end of the day.
What Are Interest Rates?
Interest is a percentage (fixed or not) of a certain amount, positive or negative – as in the case of debts. When you borrow an amount, or you are loaned money, an interest usually follows and the rate increases with every day that the debt is owed until the loan is paid back in full. For example, if the interest rate of a loan of $1000 is 0.2%, that means that a sum of $2 will be added daily to the total amount you’ll pay back (for example). So that at the end of every month, you have an additional $60 to pay when you pay off your loan.
In reality, the interest rate isn’t that thick but at the same time, you must know that some federal student loans place a fixed rate and it affects the total cost of your monthly payment or loan. However, not all interest rates are fixed. Some are varied – well it is called variable interest rates. Let’s take a look at that for a minute.
Fixed vs Variable Interest Rates
Fixed rates are certain fixed amounts you should pay at the end of the day regardless of how much you loaned or how long it took you to pay back. While this might sound great for those that like to stall on payment – there might be some disadvantages. There are different methods for determining fixed interest rates and it depends on the type of loan, the lender, and maybe the state you are in. However, this type of interest rate still seems to b a better option for those that are running a long-term loan plan.
The variable interest rate is flexible and fluctuating. It can also be tagged ad fluid because it changes with regard to the market index. Therefore your monthly payment might change (increase or decrease) during the time of repayment depending on what the market index says. Over time, the interest rate might become overwhelming or not but it’s not too safe for long-term loaners.
When the federal government grants student loans, the interest rate is usually fixed but when it comes to private lenders, it depends. Some prefer fixed rates while others go for variable interest rates. The type of interest rate you pick is dependent on a lot of things but mostly the term of the loan.
How Are The Rates Determined: Private and Federal Student Loan Interest Rates
Federal student loans are gotten by applying using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The fixed interest rate is usually based on a 10 year Treasury note rate and it is determined during May. The amount of the interest consists of a percentage attached to the loan type and the status of your education (undergraduate or graduate).
For Private loans, the deal is much different. First, the application varies from company to company and they can be funded by online lenders, credit unions, banks, and so on. The type of interest rate (fixed or variable) is also subject to the company that’s lending out the money. However, they usually work with credit history before giving out loans so that they can ensure that they’ll get their money back. They also look at your income frequency and status and employment history. Some companies check your credit and do a critical evaluation before awarding a loan. All of these they do only to be sure that you will pay back their money – and on time too.
Many things affect a student loan, the lender, the type of interest rate, market factors, rate choice, creditworthiness, and so on. However, the ways to determine the rates sit with what kind of loan it is – a federal student loan or a private one. Federal student loan interest rates are determined more easily and are straightforward while the other needs more documents, checks, and proof that you will pay back on time.
All in all, if you can pay off your student loans early, take the chance and do it!