interest rates news

Interest rates has been on the minds of many students thinking about taking out a loan…

Congress recently passed a rare bipartisan bill that set interest rates on federal student loans, The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013.  While most of the discussion and media attention centered on loans for undergraduates, there is good news for SIPA students.  For all loans first disbursed between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, the interest rate for the Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan has been lowered from 6.8% to 5.41%.  For Graduate PLUS loans, the rate has been reduced from 7.9% to 6.41%.  These rates will be fixed for the life of the loan; the rates on any loans borrowed previously were not changed.

Interest rates will be adjusted annually.  As rates are expected to climb in the coming years, loans for 2014/15 beyond could be higher.  The bill signed by President Obama, in fact, sets caps for rates higher than what they have been; 9.5% and 10.5% respectively.

If you have any questions, please contact the SIPA Financial Aid Office at sipa_finaid@columbia.edu or 212-854-6216.