After two years of decreases, interest rates on federal student loans are set to increase almost a full percentage point for the 2021-2022 school year.1 The interest rates on federal student loans are reset each year after the May auction of the 10-year Treasury note.

The rates apply to new federal student loans issued on or after July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022. The interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan.

  New rate 2021-2022 Old rate 2020-2021 Available to Borrowing limits2

Direct Loans:

Undergraduate Students

(Subsidized and Unsubsidized)



Undergraduate students only

Subsidized loans are based on financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); unsubsidized loans are available to anyone and are not based on financial need

For dependent undergraduates:

1st year: $5,500 (max $3,500 subsidized)

2nd year: $6,500 (max $4,500 subsidized)

3rd, 4th, 5th year: $7,500 (max $5,500 subsidized)

Max: $31,000 (max $23,000 subsidized)

Direct Loans:

Graduate and Professional Students

(Unsubsidized only)



Graduate or professional students only

All students are eligible regardless of financial need

$20,500 per year; max $138,500

Direct PLUS Loans:

Parents and Graduate Students

(Unsubsidized only)



Parents of dependent undergraduate students and graduate or professional students

Total cost of education, minus any other aid received by student or parent

1) The New York Times, May 28, 2021
2) U.S. Department of Education, 2021
Federal Student Loan Interest Rates Set to Increase for 2021-2022