Student Loan Calculators
When dealing with student loans, it is crucial to figure out the best way to pay them off and save money. While you could calculate this by hand (if you are a math wiz, that is), it makes much more sense to utilize technology to save you time. This is why we created a series of student loan calculators. These student loan calculators take the pain out of figuring out how to manage your debt and can give you automated advice with a few simple inputs!
You can use the following student loan calculators to compare repayment options, payoff strategies, refinancing savings, tax deductions, and more. Below you will find the a quick summary of all of the different student loan calculators available. If you click on the calculator name, you will jump down the page to that specific calculator. If you ever have an idea for a useful student loan calculator, please let us know!
Use this student loan prepayment calculator to determine how much you will save by repaying your student loans early.
Unable to afford your monthly payments? Use this IBR calculator to determine your monthly payment options under the Department of Education's income-driven repayment plans.
Student loan refinancing rates are as low as 2.13%! Use this student loan refinancing calculator to determine how much money you can save through refinancing. And, calculate your new monthly payment after refinancing.
Did you know that you can write student loan interest off your income when you file your taxes? We created this student loan interest deduction calculator to help you determine the amount of your interest deduction this year.
Should you invest or pay down your student loans? Should you save for retirement or pay down your student loans? You can use this payoff vs. invest calculator to find out!
Are you ready for repayment? Use this calculator to determine your total monthly payment including principal and interest.
Not all student loans are created equal. Use this calculator to find the best options and ways to lower the amount of interest you pay.
The Department of Education offers all federal student loan borrowers deferment and forbearance benefits. Use this calculator to compare the two options and to learn about the available programs.
In a hurry? Use this simple calculator to find out how much you can save by repaying your student loans early.
Student Loan Prepayment Calculator
After graduating, student loan debt can feel like a heavy weight holding you back from your goals. Knowing that you have ten years or more of payments ahead of you can make going on vacation, getting married or buying a house feel impossible. However, you can achieve financial freedom by proactively prepaying your loans ahead of schedule. Even small extra payments can save you significantly over the length of your loan in interest payments.
For instance, let’s say you have $10,000 in student loans at 6.8 percent interest, the standard rate for someone with a Direct PLUS loan. Your monthly payment would be approximately $115 on a standard ten-year repayment schedule. If you made no extra payments, at the end of ten years, you would have paid over $3,000 in interest on top of the $10,000 in principle. However, if you could come up with just an extra $25 a week and paid $215 a month, you would pay just $1,640 in interest.
If you cannot come up with an extra $100 a month, do not get discouraged. Contributing even an extra $10 or $15 can add up over time, cutting down your repayment term and saving you money in interest. Some easy ways to find extra money include:
- Apply your tax refund: If you get any money back at tax time, throw the entire return at your student loan debt. This approach is a smart way to make your refund go far; what it saves you in interest is far more than it could earn in a savings account.
- Use any windfalls: Whether you get a check for your birthday or get a small bonus at work, apply any unexpected money to your debt. Since you never accounted for that money, using it for extra payments will not hurt your budget.
- Cash in change: Keep a change jar and empty your pockets or purse when you get home at night. Each month, roll your change and bring it to the bank. An extra $10 from loose nickels and dimes can help you make extra contributions to your debt.
This specific student loan calculator can help show you how extra payments, no matter what size, can save you money over the term of your loans. Enter your payment amounts to find out how much applying a few extra dollars each month can save you.
You can save quite a bit of money by repaying your student loans early. Use this tool to see how much interest you could save.
Student Loan Income-Based Repayment Calculator
Currently, there is over $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. With millions of graduates struggling to find work that pays a decent salary, many people are unable to make their loan payments under the standard repayment plan. There are a variety of income-based repayment plans available that can decrease your monthly bill and keep you from defaulting on your loans:
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR): Under an IBR plan, your payments are 10 percent of your discretionary income, meaning the money you have left over after paying for necessities like your rent, your car payment or medical bills. As your income grows or your expenses go down, your payment amount is adjusted. After 20 years of payments, any outstanding balance is forgiven, as long as you did not default along the way. Your payments will never be higher than they would have been under a standard ten-year repayment plan.
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE): Payments are 10 percent of your discretionary income, and the rest of your loan is forgiven after 20 years of payments. Like IBRs, the amount you owe each month will never exceed what your payment would have been with a standard ten-year plan.
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE): Similarly, under REPAYRE your payments are 10 percent of your discretionary income. However, if your student loans were taken out for graduate school or a doctorate program, you will need to make payments for 25 years before the balance is forgiven.
- Income-Contingent Plans (ICP): With an ICP, you have up to 25 years to make payments on your loans. ICP bases your monthly payments on several factors, including your income, family size and your total debt amount. One downside is that interest capitalizes annually, meaning you will end up paying interest on the interest accrued because of the longer payment term. Also, you are required to apply annually, including updates to your income and family situation.
If you cannot afford your payments, make sure you consider all of your options so you can stay out of default. These repayment plans can bring down your monthly payments to an affordable amount and keep you on track. Enter your information in the following student loan calculator to see what option works best for your situation.
Income Based Repayment is available to all federal student loan borrowers. Use this tool to see how your monthly payment and loan cost may change under IBR.
Student Loan Refinancing Calculator
If you are struggling to keep up with your payments and high interest rates, student loan refinancing is one option that can help. There are many benefits to refinancing your debt. When you refinance, you basically take out a new loan with different terms than your original one. Then, you use that loan to pay off the first loan. Usually, when you refinance, you can get a much lower interest rate, helping you save money over the length of your repayment term.
If you cannot afford your current payments, refinancing can extend the repayment term, making the payments more manageable on your budget. If your income goes up as your career progresses, you can make extra payments to pay off your loans early.
With refinancing, you can save money and simplify repayment, as you can switch from having multiple loan payments to one easy payment. Refinancing is only available from private lenders—it is not something you can do with federal government loans—but you can often get refinancing options for your federal loans through private lenders.
If you think you can pay off your loans quickly after refinancing, opt for a variable rate loan; you can get an interest loan as low as 2.15 percent, saving you lots of money over time. If you think you’ll need a longer term to pay off your debt, choose a fixed interest rate loan instead so you know what your payment will be for the next few years.
Another benefit of refinancing is that you can eliminate having a co-signer. If you had to have your parent or friend co-sign with you to get approved for a loan, they are on the hook for the terms of the debt. By refinancing to a new loan, you can take them off the loan, giving you more freedom and independence.
Use our student loan refinancing calculator to compare your current student loan terms with refinancing options. Find out if refinancing can help lower your monthly payments or save you in interest over the length of your loans. Enter your current loan terms to see how much interest you could save.
You can save quite a bit of money by refinancing federal and/or private student debt. Use this tool to see how much you could save!
Student Loan Interest Deduction Calculator
The one benefit of student loans is that you can get a significant deduction at tax time. You can deduct up to $2,500 in federal student loan interest payments on your taxes. That $2,500 lowers the amount of income that is taxable by the government. Whether you make the standard payments or pay extra towards your loan, all of the interest is deductible.
For example, let’s say you make $40,000 in taxable income. But last year you made all of your monthly payments and paid $1,000 in interest on your student loans. That means that your taxable income has been lowered; the government would only tax you on $39,000 instead of the $40,000 you made, reducing how much you owe in taxes.
To qualify for the deduction, you need to make under $80,000 if you are single or $160,000 if you are married. You must have been enrolled in school at least half-time and attend a college or university accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. To qualify, you’d have to be on the path towards some sort of degree or certificate, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Any federal student loans used for educational expenses are eligible; this includes funds used for room and board, books and transportation. Also, it does not matter if you are on an income-based repayment plan or income-contingent plan; any interest you paid is still tax-deductible.
If you are not sure how much you paid in interest, check with your lender. Most companies will issue you Form 1098-E, which is the document that states how much interest you paid during the tax year.
Use the student loan interest deduction calculator to find out if you are eligible for the deduction, how much you can deduct and how it affects your taxable income.
In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. - Benjamin Franklin
Luckily, the student loan interest deduction may help you get a bigger tax return. Use this calculator to find out how much you can deduct this year!
Student Loan Payoff or Invest or Save Calculator
When it comes to managing your finances, deciding between pre-paying your student loan debt, investing in the stock market or saving for retirement can be extremely challenging. Financial experts are divided about what is the best course of action, and in many cases, it is entirely dependent on your unique situation, your current needs and your goals for the future.
The type of loans you have is a major factor in making your decision. For instance, if you have a Direct Stafford Loan at 3.4 percent interest, that is way below the average return for investments. In that situation, it would make sense pay only the minimums on your loans each month and put any extra money towards investing. This is especially important when you remember that student loan interest is a valuable tax deduction, bringing down your tax burden; having that deduction can help reduce how much you owe each year.
If you have a higher interest loan, like a Direct PLUS loan which can be as high as 7.9 percent, the interest rate you pay is greater than the return you could expect on an investment. In that case, it is more financially sound to pay off the loans faster, rather than to invest your money.
Your approach should be different when it comes to retirement. The power of compound interest is an incredible thing, and by contributing even relatively small amounts to retirement vehicles while you are young, you can reap huge rewards later on. Especially if your employer offers a company match for a 401K, it makes financial sense to pay just the minimum on your loans so you can contribute what’s needed to get the full match.
However, while this is a financially sound approach, there is an emotional component to it too. Even if your loans have a low interest rate, if the thought of all that debt makes you nervous and anxious, it makes sense to prioritize paying it off to give yourself peace of mind.
This student loan calculator can help determine the best repayment strategy for you, taking into account variables like interest rates, employer retirement contributions and tax deductions.
The most simple answer is if you’re student loan debt has a higher interest rate than your investment, pay your student loans. If your investment earns more interest than your student loans will cost in interest, invest.
Many other variables, such as tax deductions and employer investment matching programs play into this equation. Use the Student Loan Payoff or Invest Calculator below to determine your repayment strategy.
Student Loan Monthly Payment Calculator
So many students are told that student loans are “good debt,” and that they should not worry about taking out loans to pay for school. Well-meaning friends and family members will tell them interest rates are low and post-college salaries high, so monthly payments are no big deal. Then, it is a harsh wake-up call when, after graduation, people cannot afford rent, let alone their huge monthly loan payments.
Before taking out debt, it is important that you carefully think through your loans and how much you need:
Consider the full cost of attendance: The cost of tuition is just one of the expenses you need to cover. If you cannot commute to school, you also need to consider the cost of room and board, plus books, supplies and any additional class fees. Moreover, be realistic about what money you will bring in during the school year. You might intend to hold down a part-time job to offset costs, but with a demanding course schedule, that may not be possible.
Understand your future salary: The general rule of thumb for determining a reasonable loan amount is that your total debt should be less than one year’s salary right after school. If you are in engineering, and entry-level salaries are in the six figures, you can afford to take out more loans and still be able to live comfortably. However, if you are going into social work and expect to make only $30,000, you may have to rethink your education plans and identify alternatives, such as attending a less expensive school or attending community college and transferring to a university after two years to cut costs.
Be realistic about the long-term: While the payments on the loans may not sound that bad, consider them alongside what typical expenses will be after school. Do some research to get an idea of what the average studio or one-bedroom costs in your area, what a car payment would be and how much you’d need to cover other essentials like medical care, gas and food. Make sure that you can afford those things—and your loan payments—on an entry-level salary.
This student loan calculator can help you determine what your monthly payments will be and how long it will take you to pay them off.
Having trouble calculating your monthly payment? Use this tool to calculate your monthly student loan payment.
Student Loan Comparison Calculator
When it comes to refinancing or consolidating your student loans, there are many options available to you. SoFi, Citizens Bank and LendKey are three of the most popular banks for refinancing or consolidating student loan debt.
SoFi: With SoFi, you can refinance or consolidate both private and federal loans. SoFi has some of the most competitive interest rates, with variable interest as low as 2.15 percent and fixed rates as low as 3.50 percent. SoFi is also one of the few companies that offers unemployment protection; if you lose your job, your payments can be put on hold without destroying your credit history.
Citizens Bank: Under the Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan, borrowers can simplify billing and get one manageable payment, lower their interest or decrease their monthly bill. Variable rates are available that are as low as 2.89 percent, but can go up to 7.94 percent. Fixed rates can be as low as 5.19 percent, depending on your credit, and go all the way up to 9.39 percent.
LendKey: Unlike some options, LendKey offers refinancing and consolidation services for both federal and private student loans. If you have both types, you can consolidate them into one easy loan with a single payment. LendKey has both steady payment and graduated repayment options. With steady payments, your monthly fee is the same every month for the term of your loan. Under graduated repayment, your payments start out small, often just covering the interest, then slowly increase over the term of the loan as your income increases. LendKey also has variable and fixed interest rates available. At a fixed rate, interest can be 7 percent while on a variable rate plan, your interest rate can be as low as 2.76 percent.
For all three companies, and other banks that offer student loan refinancing, your eligibility for the most favorable terms is determined by your loan amount, your credit score and your desired repayment plan.
Use our student loan comparison calculator to compare lenders and get the best terms for consolidation or refinancing your student loans.
Use this calculator to compare multiple student loan options. You can view the total interest cost, monthly payments, and the total cost of the different loan options.
Student Loan Deferment Calculator
If you are struggling with your loan payments, you might be tempted to call your lender and request a forbearance or deferment. However, you should enter these programs with some caution; often, they do not solve the problem and can make it worse.
What is the difference between a forbearance and deferment?
Under a deferment, your loan payments are pushed back and, on subsidized loans, no interest accrues. You are eligible for a deferment if:
- You are enrolled in a qualifying graduate program
- You are disabled and enrolled in a job skills training program
- You are unemployed and unable to find a full-time job
- You have an economic hardship, such as an unexpected medical issue
- You are on active duty in the military
With forbearance, your loan payments are postponed, but interest continues to build. You can qualify for a forbearance if:
- Your monthly payment is 20 percent or more of your gross monthly income
- You are serving in a national service program, like AmeriCorps or Peace Corps
- You are experiencing financial hardship or illness. Under these circumstances, it is up to the lender to decide if you qualify; you are not guaranteed acceptance.
Deferment is a better option than forbearance because interest does not accrue, as long as your loans are subsidized; that can save you money when it comes time to start making payments again. With forbearance, as interest builds, you’ll end up paying significantly more over the length of your repayment.
Deferment and forbearance are only available for federal loans, not private ones. Additionally, you are only eligible for these options before you default on your loans. Further, if you opt to defer your loans, you do not qualify for public service loan forgiveness programs until you make 120 consecutive payments—if you take time off from payments, that count starts over again once you start repaying.
Both deferment and forbearance programs can give you a break from payments for as long as three years, but it can be an expensive way to handle your debt and can set you back from building a secure financial future. Use the student loan deferment calculator to determine how much interest will build up if you defer or enter forbearance with your loans.
Quick Interest Savings Calculator
In a study by the Federal Reserve Board, it was discovered that nearly half of Americans could not come up with $400 if there were an emergency. This statistic is consistent across income brackets; it is just as likely that someone who makes six-figures has no savings as someone who makes minimum wage. There is a savings epidemic in the country; half our population is one unexpected car repair or medical bill away from financial disaster.
Building up a reserve of cash for a rainy day is the single best thing you can do for your security and well-being. While we never know what the future holds, one thing is for certain: things happen. Cars break down. Air conditioners malfunction. People get sick. By keeping some money tucked into an emergency fund, you can handle what life throws at you without falling into debt.
While many financial experts recommend keeping six months of living expenses in an emergency fund, that amount can be horribly overwhelming for most people living paycheck to paycheck. That number sounds so huge it can keep you from getting started. Instead, start small; aim to get $500-1,000, whatever you think you need to feel more secure, in a bank account that is untouchable except in the case of a real emergency.
When you have already cut corners and are barely scraping by, saving any money at all can seem impossible. However, there are ways to build your savings slowly. Try a few of the tips below to build up your emergency fund when you are broke:
- Drop bad habits: If you have a bad or unhealthy habit, like smoking or drink a lot of soda, try cutting what you consume by half. You’ll be amazed at just how much money you’ll save, and that amount can be used to start your emergency fund.
- Spare change: Collect your spare change and exchange it for cash to add small amounts to your account.
- Use coupons: If you cut coupons and save $5, it is not really “saving” if you do not tuck it away. After grocery shopping, transfer the money you saved from coupons into your emergency fund.
- Automate small amounts: Many online banks will let you move small amounts weekly. Try transferring just $5 a week into your account. Each month, up the weekly contribution by just $1. You’ll be surprised how quickly the amount adds up and how little you miss those extra dollars when they are automatically withdrawn.
Use the student loan savings calculator to find out how your small contributions can build up over time.
Use this calculator to determine the future savings potential of your savings and investments.
Final Thoughts on Student Loan Calculators
There are a variety of student loan calculators out there on the internet for you to use. Whichever you end up using, be sure to double check that the information makes sense. If you see any ridiculous numbers, it is possible that whoever created it made a mistake.
Furthermore, just using a student loan calculator won't save you money - you have to actually take action on what you learned. For example, if a student loan refinancing calculator tells you that you could save $100 each month on your payment, you won't automatically start saving - you have to take action!
Student loan calculators are great tools that truly can help you save on your debt, just make sure to use them correctly and to be sure you understand the general process behind each one. As an example, suppose you use our income-based repayment calculator and see that you could be paying $0 a month on your student loans. While this sounds great and all, it is important to be aware that interest will still accumulate on your loans and you will most likely end up spending much more over the life of your loan.
We hope you found our student loan calculators useful and if you have any questions, comments, or ideas for another student loan calculator, feel free to reach out to us!