If you have a student headed to college this fall, you may want to check with your bank or credit union to see if they can beat federal student loan interest rates and benefits. The parent loan interest rate for 2017-18 is rising to 7% from 6.31% in 2016-17 and the student loan interest rate for 2017-18 is rising to 4.45% from the 3.76% charged in 2016-17.
While the interest rate for students is still reasonable, I noticed that some parents were beginning to skip the parent PLUS loan in favor of loans from their banks and credit unions two years ago.
Financial institutions have been offering plans that permit repayment schedules beginning after graduation similar those offered by the federal student loan program. Some of these loans offer both fixed and variable interest options aand skip the origination fee charged by the federal student loan.