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Student Loan Annual Percentage Rates (APR) and Repayment Examples

When exploring your options for college loans, there’s more to consider than the amount of money you need, such as a student loan’s annual percentage rate or APR. Learn more about APRs and Ascent’s loan options.

Rates are effective as of 07/12/2024 and reflect an Automatic Payment Discount.

Frequently Asked Questions

The terms “interest rate” and “APR” are often used interchangeably, but have two different meanings:

  • Interest rate: the amount you pay for the money you are borrowing. The interest rate is typically expressed as a percentage rate calculated over a period of time.

  • APR: an “apples-to-apples” comparison of loans with different terms, represented as an annual rate that includes repayment plans, repayment terms, the interest rate and any origination fees.

An APR will often provide a more accurate view of the total amount you can expect to pay back for your loan versus an interest rate.

Your APR and interest rates may also differ depending upon if you apply for an Ascent loan with or without a cosigner. Cosigned loans tend to have lower APRs because lenders factor in your cosigner’s credit history and credit score. Student loans without a cosigner may reflect higher rates because of a poor or fair credit score, or a lack of credit history.

To see Ascent’s full disclaimer, please click here.

When it comes to interest rates, most private lenders offer the choice between fixed and variable student loan rates.

  • Fixed rate: A fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan.

  • Variable rate: A variable interest rate may fluctuate based on market conditions. Variable interest rates can change monthly, quarterly, or annually.

A fixed interest rate will be your only option if you are applying for federal student loans.

Why should I consider a fixed student loan rate?

Fixed student loan rates do not increase or decrease over time, meaning you’ll know exactly how much you’ll owe in repayment each month. Your payments will remain the same throughout the life of your loan.

Why should I consider a variable student loan rate?

Variable student loan rates may fluctuate depending on a specified benchmark or index, such as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR). New variable rate Ascent loans applied for on or after January 1, 2022, will use SOFR as the benchmark index.

Existing variable rate Ascent loans that use London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as the benchmark index will continue to use LIBOR until we convert these loans to a replacement index, likely SOFR, at some point in 2022. We will keep you updated with important information about this conversion.

Most lenders reevaluate this every one to three months, which can result in changes to the variable student loan rate you’re given at the time you complete your student loan application and may impact the total amount of your loan. Check the terms of your loan agreement to confirm the frequency at which your interest rate may change.

Ascent Rates & Repayment Examples

The following examples illustrate three hypothetical first-year single disbursements in the amount of $10,000 including (i) the Annual Percentage Rate (APR), (ii) estimated monthly payments, and (iii) total cost during the life of the private loan*.

Variable rate loans are based on a margin plus the 30-day SOFR Average rounded to the nearest 1/100th of a percent. The current 30-day SOFR Average is 5.340% which may adjust monthly. Your actual student loan interest rate may be different than what is shown in the examples below and will be based on your credit history, selected repayment option, and other factors. Automatic Payment Discount is available when you enroll in automatic payments from your personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month.

*Rates are effective as of 07/12/2024 and reflect an Automatic Payment Discount.

Undergraduate Student Loan Rates

When it comes to reviewing undergraduate student loans, it’s important to note the different interest rates, and what they are based on. Your variable interest rate may increase or decrease, based on the 30-day SOFR Average, resulting in an APR range between 5.99% and 15.85%. Fixed rate loans will not increase or decrease over the life of the loan and have an APR range between 3.79% and 15.41%. Rates reflect an Automatic Payment Discount of 0.25% on the lowest offered rate and a 1.00% discount on the highest offered rate.

The following table shows a 48-month in-school period plus 9 months of grace prior to a full repayment term of either: 60-months (lowest fixed/variable rate), 180-months (highest fixed rate) or 180-months (highest variable rate) with examples of (i) Interest Only payments, (ii) $25 Minimum payments, and (iii) Deferred repayment options.

Undergraduate Variable Student Loan Rates

Minimum (Lowest Variable Rate) Payment Example at 5-Year Repayment Term

Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (immediate) payments, the shortest loan term, a cosigner, and are only available for our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores. Actual APR offered may be higher or lower than the repayment examples below, based on the amount of time you spend in school and any grace period you have before repayment begins.

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment7.74%57 @ $64.5060 @ $201.55$15,770.47
$25 Minimum Payment8.07%57 @ $25.0060 @ $262.55$17,177.88
Deferred Repayment*8.21%N/A*60 @ $300.14$17,988.96

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment5.99%60 @ $193.29$11,597.57

Maximum (Highest Variable Rate) Payment Example at 15-Year Repayment Term

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment15.85%57 @ $132.00180 @ $145.79$33,770.99
$25 Minimum Payment14.53%57 @ $25.00180 @ $243.74$45,298.23
Deferred Repayment*14.63%N/A*180 @ $277.78$47,212.86

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment15.60%180 @ $144.08$25,932.91

Undergraduate Fixed Student Loan Rates

Minimum (Lowest Fixed Rate) Payment Example at 5-Year Repayment Term

Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (immediate) payments, the shortest loan term, a cosigner, and are only available for our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores. Actual APR offered may be higher or lower than the repayment examples below, based on the amount of time you spend in school and any grace period you have before repayment begins.

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment5.79%57 @ $48.2560 @ $192.37$14,293.47
$25 Minimum Payment5.78%57 @ $25.0060 @ $221.44$14,711.41
Deferred Repayment*5.78%N/A*60 @ $253.04$15,146.25

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment3.79%60 @ $183.23$10,993.57

Maximum (Highest Fixed Rate) Payment Example at 15-Year Repayment Term

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment15.41%57 @ $128.33180 @ $142.74$33,013.05
$25 Minimum Payment14.19%57 @ $25.00180 @ $235.67$43,846.79
Deferred Repayment*14.32%N/A*180 @ $266.32$47,231.76

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment15.16%180 @ $141.04$25,388.72

Graduate Student Loan Rates [MBA, Law, General Graduate, and Ph.D.]

If you are instead pursuing an MBA, Law, General Graduate, or a Ph.D. graduate degree, you will need to review graduate student loans and the rates available for those. Your variable interest rate may increase or decrease, based on the 30-day SOFR Average, resulting in an APR range between 7.74% and 15.85%. Fixed rate loans will not increase or decrease over the life of the loan and have an APR range between 4.79% and 15.41%. Rates reflect an Automatic Payment Discount of 0.25%.

The following table shows a 36-month in-school period plus 9 months of grace prior to a full repayment term of either: 84-months (lowest fixed/variable rate), 180-months (highest fixed rate), or 180-months (highest variable rate) with examples of (i) Interest Only payments, (ii) $25 Minimum payments, and (iii) Deferred repayment options.

MBA, Law, General Graduate, and PhD Variable Loan Rates

Minimum (Lowest Variable Rate) Payment Example at 7-Year Repayment Term

Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (immediate) payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores. (See Terms and Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment7.99%45 @ $66.5884 @ $155.83$16,087.39
$25 Minimum Payment8.30%45 @ $25.0084 @ $193.91$17,413.28
Deferred Repayment*8.55%N/A*84 @ $218.80$18,275.23

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment7.74%84 @ $154.59$12,985.29

Maximum (Highest Variable Rate) Payment Example at 15-Year Repayment Term

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment15.85%45 @ $132.00180 @ $145.79$32,186.99
$25 Minimum Payment15.00%45 @ $25.00180 @ $223.87$41,420.76
Deferred Repayment*15.21%N/A*180 @ $249.51$44,164.94

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment15.60%180 @ $144.08$25,932.91

MBA, Law, General Graduate, and Ph.D. Fixed Loan Rates

Minimum (Lowest Fixed Rate) Payment Example at 7-Year Repayment Term

Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (immediate) payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores. (See Terms and Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment6.29%45 @ $52.4284 @ $147.49$14,749.50
$25 Minimum Payment6.33%45 @ $25.0084 @ $168.42$15,272.18
Deferred Repayment*6.41%N/A*84 @ $188.93$15,749.55

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment4.79%84 @ $140.36$11,790.73

Maximum (Highest Fixed Rate) Payment Example at 15-Year Repayment Term

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment15.41%45 @ $128.33180 @ $142.74$31,473.09
$25 Minimum Payment14.64%45 @ $25.00180 @ $216.85$40,158.28
Deferred Repayment*14.85%N/A*180 @ $242.00$42,844.53

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment15.16%180 @ $141.04$25,388.72

Dental Student Loan Rates

Your variable interest rate may increase or decrease, based on the 30-day SOFR Average, resulting in an APR range between 7.74% and 16.10%. Fixed rate loans will not increase or decrease over the life of the loan and have an APR range between 4.79% and 15.41%. Rates reflect an Automatic Payment Discount of 0.25%.

The following table shows a 48-month in-school period plus 12 months of grace prior to a full repayment term of either: 84-months (lowest fixed/variable rate), 180-months (highest fixed rate), or 240-months (highest variable rate) with examples of (i) Interest Only payments, (ii) $25 Minimum payments, and (iii) Deferred repayment options.

Dental School Variable Loan Rates

Minimum (Lowest Variable Rate) Payment Example at 7-Year Repayment Term

Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (immediate) payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment7.99%60 @ $66.5884 @ $155.83$17,086.09
$25 Minimum Payment8.10%60 @ $25.0084 @ $205.34$18,748.24
Deferred Repayment*8.26%N/A*84 @ $236.98$19,848.56

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment7.74%84 @ $154.59$12,985.29

Maximum (Highest Variable Rate) Payment Example at 20-Year Repayment Term

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment16.10%60 @ $134.08240 @ $139.84$41,604.19
$25 Minimum Payment14.73%60 @ $25.00240 @ $241.01$59,344.51
Deferred Repayment*14.79%N/A*240 @ $278.21$57,397.53

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment15.85%240 @ $137.99$33,117.79

Dental School Fixed Loan Rates

Minimum (Lowest Fixed Rate) Payment Example at 7-Year Repayment Term

Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (immediate) payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment6.29%60 @ $52.4284 @ $147.49$15,535.80
$25 Minimum Payment6.23%60 @ $25.0084 @ $174.99$16,199.07
Deferred Repayment*6.23%N/A*84 @ $200.87$16,825.50

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment4.79%84 @ $140.36$11,790.73

Maximum (Highest Fixed Rate) Payment Example at 15-Year Repayment Term

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment15.41%60 @ $128.33180 @ $142.74$33,398.04
$25 Minimum Payment14.08%60 @ $25.00180 @ $240.35$44,764.63
Deferred Repayment*14.18%N/A*180 @ $273.88$47,497.28

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment15.16%240 @ $141.04$25,388.72

Medical School Loan Rates

Your variable interest rate may increase or decrease, based on the 30-day SOFR Average, resulting in an APR range between 7.74% and 16.10%. Fixed rate loans will not increase or decrease over the life of the loan and have an APR range between 4.79% and 4.79%. Rates reflect an Automatic Payment Discount of 0.25%.

The following table shows a 48-month in-school period plus 36 months of grace prior to a full repayment term of either: 84-months (lowest fixed/variable rate), 180-months (highest fixed rate), or 240-months (highest variable rate) with examples of (i) Interest Only payments, (ii) $25 Minimum payments, and (iii) Deferred repayment options.

Medical School Variable Loan Rates

Minimum (Lowest Variable Rate) Payment Example at 7-Year Repayment Term

Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (immediate) payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment7.99%60 @ $66.5884 @ $155.83$18,684.01
$25 Minimum Payment7.79%60 @ $25.0084 @ $223.66$20,887.07
Deferred Repayment*7.81%N/A*84 @ $266.55$22,356.09

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment7.74%84 @ $154.59$12,985.29

Maximum (Highest Variable Rate) Payment Example at 20-Year Repayment Term

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment16.10%60 @ $134.08240 @ $139.84$44,822.11
$25 Minimum Payment13.85%60 @ $25.00240 @ $280.03$69,295.84
Deferred Repayment*13.86%N/A*240 @ $323.27$75,714.03

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment15.85%240 @ $137.99$33,117.79

Medical School Fixed Loan Rates

Minimum (Lowest Fixed Rate) Payment Example at 7-Year Repayment Term

Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (immediate) payments, the shortest loan term, and a cosigner, and are only available to our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores.

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment6.29%84 @ $52.4284 @ $147.49$16,793.88
$25 Minimum Payment6.07%84 @ $25.0084 @ $185.51$17,683.67
Deferred Repayment*5.97%N/A*84 @ $221.13$18,523.11

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment4.79%84 @ $140.36$11,790.73

Maximum (Highest Fixed Rate) Payment Example at 15-Year Repayment Term

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
In-School/Grace
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment15.41%84 @ $128.33180 @ $142.74$36,477.96
$25 Minimum Payment13.24%84 @ $25.00180 @ $278.06$52,150.09
Deferred Repayment*13.23%N/A*180 @ $321.09$57,114.05

*For Deferred Repayment options, eligibility for an automatic payment discount requires a minimum payment of $1. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment15.16%180 @ $141.04$25,388.72

Parent Student Loan Rates

Your variable interest rate may increase or decrease, based on the 30-day SOFR Average, resulting in an APR range between 5.74% and 16.10%. Fixed rate loans will not increase or decrease over the life of the loan and have an APR range between 4.70% and 15.86%. Rates reflect an Automatic Payment Discount of 0.25%.

The following table shows a 48-month in-school period prior to a full repayment term of either: 60-months (lowest fixed/variable rate), or 144-months (highest fixed/variable rate) with examples of (i) Interest Only payments, and (ii) Immediate Repayment options.

Parent Variable Loan Rates

Minimum (Lowest Variable Rate) Payment Example at 5-Year Repayment Term

Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (immediate) payments and the shortest loan term. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
during the
In-School Period
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment6.24%48 @ $52.0060 @ $194.47$14,164.90
Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment5.74%60 @ $192.13$11,527.93

Maximum (Highest Variable Rate) Payment Example at 15-Year Repayment Term

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
during the
In-School Period
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment16.10%48 @ $134.08180 @ $147.54$32,992.85
Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment15.85%180 @ $145.81$26,247.98

Parent Fixed Loan Rates

Minimum (Lowest Fixed Rate) Payment Example at 5-Year Repayment Term

Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (immediate) payments and the shortest loan term. (See Terms & Conditions)

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
during the
In-School Period
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment5.20%48 @ $43.3360 @ $189.65$13,459.42
Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment4.70%60 @ $187.35$11,240.99

Maximum (Highest Fixed Rate) Payment Example at 15-Year Repayment Term

Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments
during the
In-School Period
Number of Payments
during the
Repayment Term
Total Cost
Interest Only Repayment15.86%48 @ $132.08180 @ $145.86$32,599.44
Repayment OptionAPRNumber of Payments during the Repayment TermTotal Cost
Immediate Repayment15.61%180 @ $144.15$25,944.77

Frequently Asked Questions

APRs will differ from one student to the next. APRs for student loans are highly dependent on your loan qualifications and whether you opt for a variable or fixed rate.

At Ascent, we offer students a range of flexible payment options and the option to pause payments for up to 9 months after graduating or leaving school. These are just a few of the reasons we are recognized as Best Private Student Loan for 2021 by Forbes Advisor and NerdWallet (among others).

Student loan rates are based on a range of factors including credit history, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio, among others determined by your lender. Lowest interest rates require full principal and interest (Immediate) payments, the shortest loan term, a cosigner, and are only available for our most creditworthy applicants and cosigners with the highest average credit scores. Actual APR offered may be higher or lower than the repayment examples below, based on the amount of time you spend in school and any grace period you have before repayment begins.

If you choose a variable loan, changes to the 30-day SOFR Average may affect your variable loan rate.

You can check your rates with Ascent without impacting your or your cosigner’s credit score.

Your lender should be upfront with you about this information. Many lenders, including Ascent, are transparent with their APRs, and even allow you to check your rates online without impacting your credit score.

Whether you’re applying for a student loan for the first time or already have one, talk to your lender if you have questions about your APR. If you’re considering applying for a student loan with Ascent, our 100% U.S. based customer service team is available to help answer your questions:

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*Annual Percentage Rate; See rates and repayment examples