(Rates are based on the 10-year Treasury note at the May auction, and an additional fixed rate depending on the type of loan.)
Mark Kantrowitz, an author and expert on student financial aid, said the new rates would increase monthly payments by about 2.8 percent, or “a few dollars a month” for most borrowers, assuming a standard 10-year repayment term.
Still, with student debt an increasing concern, higher rates mean families should weigh carefully how much they want to rely on borrowing to pay for college. A stronger economy makes it more likely that graduates will be able to find jobs and meet their loan obligations, but it is still best to be cautious, said Diane Cheng, associate research director at the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success.
“One way to help manage the debt burden,” she said, was to be conservative with loans in the first place.
Student loan debt in the United States rose to $1.38 trillion at the end of 2017, up $68 billion from the year before, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Serious delinquencies declined slightly in the fourth quarter from the prior three months, the report said, but “remain at a high level.”