College grads, former students and their parents with education loans have what may be one of the best opportunities to save money on their loans.
At the center of this opportunity is that the interest rate that applies to consolidation loans – a fixed rate loan that replaces the variable rates of the existing student loans – is set to rise this summer.
Under a federally subsidized program, in July of each year, the Department of Education sets a fixed rate that applies to consolidation loans for the following 12 months. The fixed rate is tied to an index of the 91-day Treasury Bill rate as of the end of May each year, and that rate is approximately 2.85 percent, which is over 1.75 percentage points higher than where it was last year. This means that the fixed rate that applies loans consolidated AFTER June 2005, could be approximately 5 to 6 percent, versus 3.37 percent for Stafford Loans and 4.17 percent for PLUS Loans consolidated BEFORE July 2005.
Stay tuned for the full report.