After falling for two consecutive years, interest rates on federal student loans are now rising. The following table shows the interest rates for new Direct Loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2017, and before July 1, 2018. The rate is fixed for the life of the loan.
Subsidized vs. unsubsidized
What's the difference? With subsidized loans, the federal government pays the interest that accrues while the student is in school, during the six-month grace period after graduation, and during any loan deferment periods. By contrast, with unsubsidized loans, the borrower pays the interest during these periods. Eligibility for subsidized loans is based on financial need. Only undergraduate students are eligible for subsidized loans.