Student Loans in the United States are a type of financial aid that is meant to assist students in pursuing higher education. As of 2018, around 70 percent of people with higher education degrees used some type of student loan to finance their studies. However, there are some factors to consider before using student loans.
Average annual loan for graduate students
The average student loan balance for a graduate student in the United States is nearly $108,000. It increased by more than 90 percent between 1999-2000 and 2015-2016. Doctorates in medicine, education, and health sciences have the highest average loan balances. However, students in non-Ph.D. fields and law are among the least likely to receive loans.
In addition to tuition, the average graduate student leaves school with debts of up to $70,000, depending on the program. A law graduate graduates with more than double that amount, whereas a graduate student in education will graduate with half that amount. Graduate school costs have steadily risen in the past decade and aren’t expected to go down anytime soon. Fortunately, there are options available to make graduate education more affordable for students.
Graduate students are more likely to take out federal student loans than their undergraduate counterparts. Bachelor’s degree graduates, on the other hand, tend to incur the least amount of debt. The highest average debt of a graduate student is found in Connecticut, which increased 39% from $27,816 to $38,510. However, the lowest average graduate debt in the United States is in Utah, where graduates owe under $20k.
For those in need of a larger loan, private loan options are an option. Private student loans are often more expensive than federal loans and have fewer protections.
Average annual loan for parent PLUS loans
The average parent PLUS loan is over $21,000, and the debt load of parent PLUS borrowers is even higher than that of a traditional student loan. As the country continues to lose jobs, parents are being forced to take on more debt to pay for college. However, if you are a parent, the loan amount is likely to be manageable.
The maximum loan amount for a parent is the cost of attending college, minus any financial aid. The interest rate is higher than that of other student loans, at 6.28 percent. Parents who default on a PLUS loan must pay interest on it, and it is possible for the federal government to garnish their wages and Social Security benefits. Although the interest rate on a PLUS loan is higher than a standard student loan, it is still lower than a student loan from a private bank.
The average annual loan for parent PLUS loans is nearly $103.6 billion, with 3.6 million parents in the U.S. owing the money. However, the loan load is much higher for low-income Black parents than it is for white parents. As a result, many of these parents are choosing to pay for their children’s education through a private or public institution. The government has created a repayment plan for these parents to manage the loan.
The government also offers loan forgiveness options to borrowers who qualify. Borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year and receive Pell Grants may be eligible for loan forgiveness. The same program could be extended to parent PLUS loans. The federal government is recognizing the growing debt burden and the growing number of people struggling to meet their loan obligations.
Interest rates for federal student loans
Interest rates on federal student loans are about to skyrocket, the largest increase since 2013. These higher rates will have a long-term impact on the wallet, particularly for those who owe large amounts of money. The increase is the result of the Treasury Department’s auction of 10-year notes.
In the past, these rates have been set by Congress. However, the new rules went into effect on July 1. These changes will affect all federal student loans, including parent loans. They will change every July 1 based on the results of the last T-Bill auction, which is held in May. This will affect all federal student loans, regardless of whether they are subsidized or unsubsidized. However, a large majority of students still opt for a subsidized loan.
Historically, federal student loan interest rates have been fixed since 2006. However, after the recession in 2007-2009, the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act increased interest rates for unsubsidized student loans. Undergraduate loans, which are the largest portion of the federal student loan market, were fixed for 15 years at 4.6%, while graduate loans stayed steady at 6.8% or 7.9%. However, starting in the 2013-2014 academic year, these rates began to fluctuate. Currently, the interest rate on undergraduate federal student loans is 4.99%, while graduate and professional loans have 6.54% and 7.4%, respectively.
Federal student loan interest rates are determined by Congress. For undergraduate loans, the rates are set based on the highest yield for 10-year Treasury notes in May. This new rate applies to student loans disbursed from July 1 through June 30 of the next year. These rates are fixed for the life of the loan and are not determined by the borrower’s credit score or financial history.