Your student loan repayment term
Your loan repayment term is the number of years you have to pay it back. Federal loans generally have a standard repayment schedule of 10 years.footnote 2 For private student loans, the repayment term can range anywhere from 10-20 years, depending on the loan. You'll be given a definite term for your loan when you apply.
Interest rates for federal and private student loans
The average interest rate will be different for federal student loans and private student loans. Federal student loans have a single, fixed interest rate, which means that your loan's rate doesn't change over time.
You may have noticed that there's a range of interest rates associated with a private student loan. Private student loans are credit-based. That means the rate you'll be offered depends on your creditworthiness—and that of your cosigner, if you have one—together with several other factors. When you apply for a loan, you'll be given an interest rate, either fixed or variable, depending on which is offered and which type of rate you've chosen.
How much you'll need to borrow for college
Before you can figure out how much to borrow in student loans, you need to figure out how much college will cost, how much money you can put toward it, and what the difference, or the funding gap is. Create a plan to find out how much to borrow.