Compared to private student loans, whose interest rates vary depending on the borrower’s credit history, federal student loans are a steal. But according to USA Today, a large percentage of private loan borrowers don’t maximize their borrowing of federal student loans.
In fact, the newspaper found that more than half of private loan borrowers failed to max out on federal student loans, and a quarter didn’t take out any federal loans.
This is quite alarming and demonstrates the need for education about the differences between federal and private student loans. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans can have variable interest rates, some greater than 18%. This substantially increase the total amount you repay.