National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for Students
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NSLDS is a repository of information from many sources. Changes to the data are made by those sources. Collecting the data into one central location such as NSLDS gives you convenience and saves you time. If for any reason you disagree with the information reported to NSLDS, please contact one or more of the sources of your data listed on the detail pages on this site. The Department is also available as a resource at 1-800-4FEDAID if you need additional assistance. Your comments and corrections will help improve the services NSLDS provides.
Warning: Touring Exit Counseling does not fulfill Exit Counseling Requirement.
Interest Rates

Interest is a charge for using borrowed money. Everyone has to pay interest no matter what type of loan they have; education loans are no different.

  • Subsidized loans: The federal government pays the interest on subsidized loans while you are enrolled in school on at least a half-time basis, during your grace period, and certain other periods.

  • Unsubsidized loans and PLUS loans: If you borrowed an unsubsidized loan or a PLUS loan, you are responsible for paying the interest during all periods, starting from the date of the first loan disbursement. You can choose either to pay it as it accrues (for example, while you are in school or during your grace period), or to let it accrue and be added to the principal balance of your loan. This is called "capitalization."

    Capitalization increases your loan principal balance and you will then have to pay interest on the increased loan principal amount. If you allow interest to be capitalized, the total amount you repay over the life of your loan will be greater than if you paid the interest as it accrued.

    The following chart is an example of capitalization. It shows the difference in the total amount you would repay on a $15,000 Direct Unsubsidized Loan if you pay the interest as it is charged during a 12-month deferment or forbearance period, compared to the amount you would repay if you do not pay the interest and it is capitalized.

    Capitalization of Interest Example
      If you pay the interest as it is charged…… If you do not pay the interest as it is charged……
    Loan Amount $15,000 $15,000
    Capitalized Interest for 12 months (at the maximum rate of 7.9%) $0 $1,185
    Principal to be Repaid $15,000 $16,185
    Monthly Payment (Standard Repayment Plan) $181 $196
    Number of Payments 120 120
    Total Amount Repaid $21,744 $23,462

Fixed and Variable Interest Rates

All Direct Loan and FFEL Program loans with a first disbursement date that is on or after July 1, 2006 have fixed interest rates that will remain the same throughout the life of the loan.

Loans that were first disbursed before July 1, 2006 have variable interest rates that are adjusted each year on July 1. For subsidized and unsubsidized loans first disbursed before July 1, 2006, the variable interest rate will never be more than 8.25%. For PLUS loans first disbursed before July 1, 2006, the variable interest rate will never be more than 9.00%.

Fixed interest rates for loans with a first disbursement date on or after July 1, 2006
Loan Type Fixed Interest Rate
Subsidized Loans for undergraduate students 6.80 for loans first disbursed 07/01/2006 to 06/30/2008
6.00 for loans first disbursed 07/01/2008 to 06/30/2009
5.60 for loans first disbursed 07/01/2009 to 06/30/2010
4.50 for loans first disbursed 07/01/2010 to 06/30/2011
3.40 for loans first disbursed 07/01/2011 to 06/30/2013
6.80 for loans first disbursed on or after 07/01/2013
Subsidized Loans for graduate/professional students and Unsubsidized Loans for all students 6.80
Note: Graduate/professional students aren't eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans for enrollment periods beginning after 06/30/2012.


PLUS Loans 7.90 for Direct PLUS Loans
8.50 for Federal PLUS Loans


Variable Interest Rates for Loans First Disbursed Between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 2006
Loan Type Loan Status Interest Rate
For the Period
July 1, 2008 to
June 30, 2009
Interest Rate
For the Period
July 1, 2009 to
June 30, 2010
Subsidized Loans Repayment or Forbearance 4.21 2.48
In-School, Grace, or Deferment 3.61 1.88
Unsubsidized Loans Repayment or Forbearance 4.21 2.48
In-School, Grace, or Deferment 3.61 1.88
PLUS Loans Any Status 5.01 3.28

How is interest calculated?
Interest on all loans borrowed under the Department’s federal student loan programs are calculated on a simple daily basis.

The following formula demonstrates how the simple interest
is calculated between payments
Average daily balance between payments x
Interest rate x
(Number of days between payments/365.25)= Monthly interest

How interest accrues between payments made on April 15 and May 15, for example:
Average daily balance: $10,000 x Interest rate: .068
Days between payments (30/365.25) x .08214 =
Monthly interest: $55.86


Information contained on these pages reflects the most current data in the NSLDS database. The data contained on this site is for general information purposes and should not be used to determine eligibility, loan payoffs, overpayment status, or tax reporting. Please consult the Financial Aid Officer at your school or the specific holder of your debts for further information.

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