Student Loan Refinance Rates: March 12, 2024—10-Year Loan Rates Start To Increase (2024)

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Interest rates on refinanced student loans are jumping up.

During the week of March 4, the average fixed interest rate on a 10-year refinance loan was 7.46% for borrowers with a credit score of 720 or higher who prequalified on’s student loan marketplace. On a five-year variable-rate loan, the average interest rate was 6.59% among the same population, according to

These rates are accurate as of March 4, 2024.

Related: Best Student Loan Refinance Lenders

Fixed-Rate Loans

The average fixed rate on 10-year refinance loans last week climbed by 0.11 percentage points to 7.46%. The week before, the average stood at 7.35%.

Fixed interest rates don’t change throughout a borrower’s loan term. That means borrowers refinancing now will lock in a rate higher than one they would have received this time last year. At this time last year, the average fixed rate on a 10-year refinance loan was 6.81%, 0.65 percentage points lower than today’s rate.

A borrower who refinances $20,000 in student loans to today’s average fixed rate would pay around $237 per month and approximately $8,438 in total interest over 10 years, according to Forbes Advisor’s student loan calculator.

Variable-Rate Loans

Last week, the average rate on a variable five-year refinance student loan fell to 6.59% on average from 6.90%.

Variable interest rates fluctuate during a loan term according to the index they’re tied to and market conditions. Many refinance lenders recalculate rates monthly for borrowers with variable-rate loans, but they typically limit how high the rate can go—lenders may set a limit of 18%, for instance.

Let’s say you refinanced an existing $20,000 loan to a five-year loan with a variable interest rate of 6.59%. You’d pay about $392 on average per month. You’d pay approximately $3,530 in total interest over the life of the loan. Keep in mind that since the interest is variable, it could fluctuate up or down from month to month.

Related: Should You Refinance Student Loans?

Fixed-rate Loans vs. Variable-rate Loans

One big goal of refinancing student loans, for many borrowers, is reducing the amount of interest paid. And that means getting the lowest possible interest rate.

Rates on variable loans may start out lower than rates on fixed-rate loans. Of course, because they’re variable, they’re subject to interest rate increases. You can limit the risk of interest rate increases with variable-rate loans by paying off your loan as quickly as possible. Still, if you like the reliability of a fixed payment, fixed-rate loans could be a better choice.

When considering your options, compare rates across multiple student loan refinancing lenders to ensure you’re not missing out on possible savings. Explore whether you qualify for additional interest rate discounts, potentially by choosing automatic payments or having an existing financial account with a lender.

How To Get the Best Student Loan Refinance Rates

The best student loan refinance rates typically go to borrowers with strong credit. To get the best rate, take some time to improve your credit before you apply. Paying down debts, reducing your credit utilization ratio and disputing any errors on your credit report can boost your credit.
Another option is applying for student loan refinance with a co-signer. If you can add a creditworthy co-signer to your application, you might qualify for a better interest rate. However, remember that your co-signer will share responsibility for the loan.

Finally, compare offers from multiple lenders. Each lender sets its own rates and terms, so shopping around can help you find a student loan refinance offer with the best rate.

When Should You Refinance Student Loans?

Most lenders require borrowers to complete their degree before refinancing—though not all—so in most cases, wait to refinance until you’ve graduated. You’ll also need a good or excellent credit score and stable income to access the lowest interest rates.

Asking a relative or friend to be a co-signer is one option for those who don’t have strong enough credit or income to qualify for a refinance loan. Alternatively, you could wait until your credit and income are stronger. If you decide to use a co-signer, make sure they understand they’ll be responsible for any payments you can’t make. The loan will also appear on their credit report.

Student Loan Refinance Rates: March 12, 2024—10-Year Loan Rates Start To Increase (2024)


What is the interest rate for student loans in 2024? ›

Federal loan rates for the 2023-2024 academic year

Undergraduate borrowers qualify for the lowest rates at 5.50% for the 2023-2024 academic year. These fixed rates influence the size of your monthly payments and total costs over the life of the loan.

Is this a bad time to refinance student loans? ›

Federal Student Loans

Interest began accruing again in September 2023 and payments restarted in October. If you're dealing with high interest rates on your federal student loans, refinancing is one strategy that could help. Borrowers with strong credit scores may be able to snag a better rate through refinancing.

What is the current refinance rate for student loans? ›

As of 04/07/2024 student loan refinancing rates range from 5.49% to 9.45% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

What is a good interest rate on a student loan? ›

Current student loan interest rates
College Ave5.59% to 16.69%4.07% to 15.48%
Earnest5.87% to 18.51%4.36% to 16.15%
LendKey6.07% to 11.34%4.39% to 11.34%
SoFi5.99% to 14.70%4.44% to 14.70%

Will student loan rates go up in 2024? ›

The cost of borrowing across all Department of Education loans is going up again for the 2023-2024 school year after some rates saw the biggest increases in decades during the prior period.

Why is Sallie Mae interest rate so high? ›

If you signed up for a Sallie Mae loan when you entered college, you may have a high interest rate because you were a college student with no credit history and no full-time income. If you now have a stable job and a good credit score, you may be eligible for a lower interest rate.

Why is it not a good reason to refinance a student loan? ›

If there's a chance your income could decrease, don't refinance federal student loans. You'll miss out on federal student loan relief options, as well as government programs like income-driven repayment.

What is the bad side of student loans? ›

Key Takeaways. Carrying student debt can affect your ability to buy a home if your debt-to-income ratio is too high. If you have too much student loan debt, you won't be able to save as much for retirement. Student loan debt can lower your credit score, especially if you fail to make on-time payments.

What are the disadvantages of refinancing student loans? ›

  • You lose the option for student loan forgiveness. ...
  • Private student loans do not offer income-driven repayment plans. ...
  • Deferment periods are not as generous as with federal loans. ...
  • Variable interest rates could increase. ...
  • You will lose your grace period for federal student loans.
  • You may not qualify for refinancing.

Are student loans forgiven after 20 years? ›

All borrowers on SAVE receive forgiveness after 20 or 25 years, depending on whether they have loans for graduate school. The benefit is based upon the original principal balance of all Federal loans borrowed to attend school, not what a borrower currently owes or the amount of an individual loan.

Why is my student loan interest rate so high? ›

Secured loans, by comparison, are backed by something of value, such as a car or house, which can be seized if you default. But lenders can't seize a degree. So student loan interest rates are typically higher than secured loan rates because the lender's risk is higher.

What is the highest federal student loan interest rate? ›

Current student loan interest rates for 2023 – 2024
Rate typeFixedFixed or variable
Undergraduate5.50%3.99% – 11.88%
Graduate7.05% or 8.05%3.99% – 11.88%
Parent8.05%3.99% – 11.88%
1 more row
Apr 1, 2024

Can you negotiate a lower interest rate on student loans? ›

Also, rates are set by Congress, so there's no wiggle room for negotiation. For the most part, your best bet is to refinance your loans with a private lender.

Is 6.8 interest rate high for student loans? ›

6.87% is the average student loan interest rate among all student loans, federal and private.

Which bank has the lowest interest rate for student loan? ›

Lowest Interest Rate on Education Loan - Related FAQs

Which bank gives an education loan with the lowest interest rate? If you want to know which bank gives education loan with lowest interest rate, currently it is the Bank of India's Star Vidya Loan. It has the lowest interest rate, starting from 8.25%.

Where are interest rates headed in 2024? ›

While McBride had expected mortgage rates to fall to 5.75 percent by late 2024, the new economic reality means they're likely to hover in the range of 6.25 percent to 6.4 percent by the end of the year, he says.

Will interest rates be cut in 2024? ›

Key takeaways. The Federal Reserve is likely to cut interest rates at least once in 2024, with the largest share of officials expecting three cuts. The timing and frequency of rate cuts will depend on a variety of factors, including inflation and the labor market.

What will Fed rate be in 2024? ›

The Federal Reserve (Fed) announced at its March 2024 meeting that it would maintain the overnight federal funds rate at the current range of 5.25% to 5.5%.

What is the interest rate on student loans in the future? ›

Between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024, federal student loan rates for new undergraduate loans are 5.50%. New graduate loan rates are 7.05% and new parent PLUS loan interest rates are 8.05% during that same time period.


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