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How to Use This Student Loan Payment Calculator
It is important to understand how student loans work and what your monthly payments will be after graduation. This student loan payment calculator allows you to see what your student loan payments will be based on your loan amount, interest rate, and loan term.
First, input your total student loan balance, interest rate, and repayment term into the calculator. With these simple details, you can see your monthly payment, the total interest paid over the life of the loan, and the total cost of the loan including principal and interest payments added together.
How are Student Loan Payments Calculated?
Student loan payments, like other loan payments, are calculated based on the details of your loan. This includes how long you plan to be in repayment on the loan, the interest rate you received, and the total amount you borrowed.
The higher your interest rate and balance, the higher your monthly payment will be. In addition, the shorter your repayment term, the higher your monthly payment will be and vice-versa.
In the first several years of a student loan repayment term, you pay more toward interest accrued than you do the principal balance. However, as you continue to make the same monthly payment, your principal balance starts to go down quicker.
Haven’t Borrowed Yet? Here’s How to Reduce Your Student Loan Burden
For students who have yet to borrow for their education but plan to do so, the concern over how much student loan debt will be a burden in the future is pressing. However, there are several steps you can take to ensure your student loan obligation is not overwhelming or too costly.
The most important factor in reducing your student loan burden is a low interest rate. Federal student loans may offer the best option for those who have no credit history. Additionally, federal student loans have added protections such as income-driven repayment plans, forbearance options, and forgiveness opportunities for those that meet select eligibility requirements.
Borrowers who have an established credit history and steady income – or a cosigner who does – may qualify for a lower interest rate with a private student loan. Getting the lowest possible interest rate on your loan means more of your payments are going toward principal, and your total cost of borrowing is lower.
In addition to getting a low interest rate, you may opt to pay the interest accruing on your loan while you are in school or, even better, opt to make full payments so that you pay off the loan sooner rather than later.
Most student loan lenders defer your payments until you have left college, but interest still accrues on the balance. If left unpaid, this can add a significant amount to your total debt burden when you begin repayment. Think about your ability to make interest payments even during your deferment period.
If you are looking for a student loan, it’s important to compare your options. Here are some of our highly-rated partners:
Compare Private Student Loans
Our top-rated private student loan
- Rates from 1.04% to 12.99% APR
- Your choice of full, interest-only, flat, or deferred payments
- Borrow between $1,000 and 100% of the school-certified cost of attendance
To further compare the options above, check out our guide to the best private student loans.
Already Borrowed? Here is How You Can Decrease Your Student Loan Rates
You may consider refinancing your federal or private student loans to obtain a lower interest rate on your debt through a private lender. Doing so creates a much rosier picture for your total student loan payments and it may help reduce your monthly obligation immediately.
However, refinancing federal student loans to a private loan removes all federal protections such as income-driven repayment plans, forgiveness opportunities, and more.
To help better manage your student loan payments for federal loans, consolidation may also be beneficial. The Direct Consolidation Loan from the federal government allows you to combine multiple loans under a single, new loan.
This will not lower your total interest, but it will allow you to take advantage of income-driven repayment plans or an extended repayment plan that can ease the cash flow burden each month.
Talk to your loan servicer to learn more about federal consolidation. To see what your payments would be under the most popular income-driven plan, the Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR), check out our IBR Calculator.
If you are looking to refinance your student loans with a private lender to lower your interest rate, check out some of the following highly-rated partners of ours.
Compare Student Loan Refinance Companies
To further compare the lenders above, check out our guide to the best student loan refinance companies.
Student loan payments range significantly from borrower-to-borrower, but managing student loan debt can be done effectively.
Be sure to understand what your monthly student loan payment will be if you have yet to begin borrowing or repaying your loans. This is based on your total loan balance, the interest rate received, and the term for repayment.
If the monthly amount from the student loan payment calculator above seems too high or unmanageable, consider your options for alternatives.
This may include paying the interest on your loans while in school, refinancing to get a lower interest rate or longer repayment term, or consolidating student loans to gain access to income-driven repayment plans or other extended repayment options.
Regardless of what your student loan balances are, know that you have options for creating a more manageable repayment strategy through one or more of these methods.
You can check out the rest of our Student Loan Calculators to get more information about managing your loans.
>> Read more: How to Pay Off $100K in Student Loans
Author: Melissa Horton