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Student loan rates rise today [AUDIO]

It’ll cost more to borrow money for a college education, starting today, but the increase shouldn’t be too much of a strain on the wallet.

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Student loans
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Interest rates on federal student loans are rising less than one percentage point. The rates apply to loans taken out after July 1.

Leslie Beck, principal of Compass Wealth Management in Maplewood, said the move amounts to about $230 additional interest over 10 years for a $5,000 loan.

“You’re talking about a monthly payment going from 50 dollars approximately, to 52 dollars, which is not a lot of money,” Beck said.

Rates on undergraduate Stafford loans edge up to 4.66 percent, compared to 3.86 percent last year. Graduate students, meanwhile, face a 6.21 percent rate, up from 5.41 percent.

The hikes should be seen as welcomed news to students and their parents who were facing a 100-percent increase in loan rates last year until Congress passed legislation that ties rates to the financial markets.

Rates can still rise in the years ahead, but Congress also set a cap for direct loans.

Interest rates don’t play much of a role in how most families choose to fund education, or in which school a student decides to attend, according to Beck. The biggest factor is the overall price of tuition.

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