Financial Aid Advice

Important Information on Student Loan Interest Rates

Posted by Paul Garrard, M.B.A. on June 28, 2022

Interest rates on federal student loans are fixed, but they change on new loans disbursed on or after July 1 of any given year. This simply means, for example, that if you borrow four direct unsubsidized loans for each year of dental school, you will graduate with four loans, each of which has a different, but fixed, interest rate.

The interest rates on new federal loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2022, were just announced:

  • 4.99% on direct loans for undergraduates,
  • 6.54% on direct unsubsidized loans for graduate students (including dental students) and
  • 7.54% on direct PLUS (Grad PLUS) for graduate students (including dental students).

These new rates represent an increase of 1.26% over the current 2021-22 academic year; even more reason to never borrow more than you need!

However, don’t forget that courtesy of the CARES Act, all direct loans have a 0% interest rate until Sept. 1, 2022, so the news is not all bad.

Please remember that responsible borrowing leads to responsible repayment.

About Paul Garrard, M.B.A.:

Paul Gerrard

Paul S. Garrard, M.B.A.
Founder and President
PGPresents, LLC
Independent Student Loan Consulting
ADEA Senior Advisor for Student Financial Services

With more than 35 years of experience in higher education and student financial aid, Paul Garrard is one of the most well-known and in-demand educational debt management experts in the nation, especially in the health professions communities. Mr. Garrard currently serves as a consultant for the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) as their Senior Advisor for Student Financial Services.

He has extensive experience in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors of higher education. In 2008, he started his own consulting firm, PGPresents, LLC, designed to help promote responsible borrowing and responsible repayment.

His specialty is helping health professions graduates, including dental school graduates, manage their student loan portfolios by helping them develop repayment strategies that meet their career and financial goals. He also uses this expertise through ADEA to help inform incoming dental students about borrowing responsibly.

He is a nationally known speaker on financing a dental education and is a regular speaker at the ADEA GoDental Recruitment Event held prior to the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition. 

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Samford University and an M.B.A. from the University of Georgia. Mr. Garrard works out of his home in Shepherdstown, WV.