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10-year fixed-rate private student loan rates jumped last week. If you want to take out a private student loan, you can still get a relatively low rate.

According to, from September 6 to 10, the average fixed interest rate on a 10-year private student loan was 6.11%. It was 3.12% on a five-year variable rate loan. This is for borrowers with a credit score of 720 or higher who have prequalified on’s student loan market.

Related: Best private student loans

Fixed rate loans

The average fixed rate on 10-year loans rose last week from 0.82% to 6.11%. The previous week, the average stood at 5.29%.

Borrowers looking for a private student loan can now benefit from a lower rate than they would have at this time last year. At the same time last year, the average fixed rate on a 10-year loan was 6.38%, 0.27% higher than the current rate.

If you were to fund $ 20,000 in student loans at the current average fixed rate, you would pay about $ 223 per month and about $ 6,778 in total interest over 10 years, according to Forbes Advisor’s student loan calculator.

Variable rate loans

Last week, five-year variable student loan rates rose to 3.12% from 2.67% the week before.

Unlike fixed rates, variable interest rates fluctuate over the life of the loan. Variable rates can start off lower than fixed rates, especially during times when rates are generally low, but they can increase over time.

Private lenders often offer borrowers the option of choosing between fixed and variable interest rates. Fixed rates may be the safest bet for the average student, but if your income is stable and you plan to pay off your loan quickly, it might be beneficial to choose a variable loan.

Financing a private loan of $ 20,000 over five years at 3.12% would give a monthly payment of approximately $ 360. A borrower would pay $ 1,626 in total interest over the life of the loan. Keep in mind that since the interest rate is variable, it could change every month.

Related: How to get a private student loan

Obtain a private student loan

If you meet or don’t qualify for federal student loan annual borrowing limits, private student loans may be a good option. But consider a federal student loan as your first option, as interest rates are generally lower. For example, the federal undergraduate student loan interest rate is 3.73% for the 2021-2022 school year. You will also benefit from more liberal repayment and forgiveness options with federal student loans.

When shopping for a private student loan, you will usually need to apply directly to a non-federal lender. This includes banks, credit unions, nonprofits, state agencies, colleges, and online entities.

Keep in mind that undergraduates with limited credit histories often need a co-signer who can meet the lender’s borrowing requirements.

Here is what to consider when applying for a private student loan:

  • Make sure you qualify. Private student loans are credit-based and lenders typically require a credit score of around 600. This is why having a co-signer can be particularly beneficial.
  • Apply directly to lenders. You can apply directly on the lender’s website, by mail or by phone.
  • Compare your options. See what each lender is offering and compare the interest rate, term, future monthly payment, origination fees, and late fees. Also check to see if the lender offers a co-signer discharge so that the co-borrower can potentially opt out of the loan.

How to Compare Private Student Loans

First, take a look at the overall cost of the loan. Consider both the interest rate and the fees. Also consider the type of help that each lender offers if you are unable to meet your payments.

If you have good or excellent credit, you have a better chance of getting the best interest rates.

How much should I borrow? Experts generally recommend that you borrow no more than what you will earn in your first year out of college. How much can you borrow? Some lenders cap the amount you can borrow each year, while others don’t. When looking for a loan, find out from lenders how the loan is disbursed and what costs it will cover.

The rate you will receive

The rate you receive depends on whether you get a fixed or variable loan. Rates, in part, are based on your creditworthiness – those with higher credit scores often get the lower rates. But your rate is also based on other factors. Credit history, income, and even the degree you are working on and your career can play a role.

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