When it comes to the complexities of your student loans, and the rest of your personal financial situation, you’re bound to have questions.
Unfortunately, you may be hard-pressed to always find easy, straightforward answers to all of them.
Like most things, everyone’s financial situation is a little different. Some folks have lots of loans, some have credit card debt, some own houses, and some rent. But what you can do is arm yourself with the latest facts and figures around your specific needs.
Have you wondered how much you could save if you refinanced your student loans? Or, how many years you’ll have to keep saving to retire comfortably? Perhaps whether you should rent or buy while you pay off your debt?
Or how much interest you’ll have to pay if you keep making minimum payments on that outstanding credit card bill? All of these questions may come into play for you.
Sure, you could take pen to paper or punch some numbers into an old-fashioned calculator, if you can find one, to figure out how to tackle these things.
But in the interest of time and efficiency, there are some solid online financial calculators available that might help with these important financial decisions—and maybe give you a clearer picture of where you stand.
We should note before we begin that while we’ve included quite a few calculators that aren’t our own, none of the companies associated with those calculators are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. This piece is meant to be a resource for readers—a jumping off point—to help anyone become more familiar with some of the many online tools available.
With all that out of the way… let’s jump in!
Student Loan Calculator
There are plenty of student loan calculators out there that can help you estimate your monthly payment and total interest cost. But if you want to take it a step further, you could use SoFi’s Student Loan Refinancing Calculator to get a basic idea of how refinancing student loans could affect your bottom line.
Simply enter your current loan information, then adjust the term “slider” to see how your monthly payment and total savings amount could be affected by refinancing.
You could see valuable information like how much you might be able to save every month by refinancing or how much you could potentially save over the lifetime of a loan if you were to refinance. (Calculated payments and savings are only estimates, and don’t factor in your current credit picture or financial situation.)
It’s almost impossible for one online retirement calculator to take into account all the variables that retirement planning requires. But a calculator could still be useful to give you a general idea of how much money you may want to be saving and how big your retirement nest egg could grow.
It might also give you some insight into how much you’re contributing now, and if you might want to think about adjusting your IRA, 401(k), or other retirement investment.
Related Content: What is an IRA?
One online tool that may be helpful is AARP’s online Retirement Calculator . It asks for quite a bit of information, including information about your age, income, current savings and lifestyle expectations in retirement (i.e., will you need more, less, or the same amount of money as you now spend).
The calculator then gives an estimate of how much wealth you’re likely to accumulate and changes you could make—like working longer or saving more—that might help improve your outcomes.
Many retirement calculators are quite similar to the AARP one, where you are able to see how much money you are likely to accumulate. But there are other tools available that could help show you where you stand in terms of your retirement goals.
The SoFi retirement calculator, for instance, can also help you figure out if you are on track to hit your target retirement. Calculators like these can be great to use periodically to help keep track of your progress.
Making a budget—and sticking to it—is one important step on the road to financial security. By making a budget and sticking to it, you might be able to save some extra cash and even be able to gain some new insight and understanding about how you’re currently spending your money.
Setting up a budget might have a snowball effect, potentially empowering you to save even more money once you have a holistic view of current spending.
The Home Budget Calculator from Bankrate is one tool that allows you to enter a very comprehensive list of your monthly expenditures, which could help to give you a more complete picture of where your money is going.
For example, whether you’re renting or own your own home, where you live might take up a large chunk of your annual income. A home budget calculator is one tool to help you plan for unexpected expenses and prepare for those larger expenses, like a new roof or new flooring.
Debt Payoff Calculator
You could use this Debt Snowball Calculator from NerdWallet to figure out how long it could take you to completely pay off your debt from loans or credit cards. This is a great tool to see how increasing your monthly payments could affect your debt and help you save on interest, which might help keep you motivated in your payoff goals.
If you want to solely take a look at your student loan debt, you could try our Student Loan Payoff Calculator. Simply add your information, and it calculates when your estimated payoff date could be. Plus, you can click through and discover additional information and tips you could use to potentially shorten that payoff period.
Some of these ideas might include things like seeing if you can find a lower interest rate or making additional payments. Plugging these two data points into the calculator might give you a basic estimate of how much sooner you could pay off your loans.
Additionally, to take a look at credit card debt, you could use SoFi’s Credit Card Interest Calculator. Since credit card debt can be one of the most challenging debts to pay off, you might want to understand how much you are paying overall.
This calculator shows roughly how much interest you could end up paying on your credit card debt and gives a broad estimate of when that debt could be paid off in full if you continue to make the same payments.
Rent or Buy Calculator
This handy Rent or Buy Calculator from The New York Times could help you decide when to rent or buy a home. Depending on your unique financial situation and where you live, you might learn that home ownership is a real possibility. Of course, you might also learn that, for the time being, renting is a better solution for you.
This calculator allows you to enter the price of the home you’re considering, interest rates, property taxes, and many other factors. After inputting your variables, it broadly estimates at what monthly cost renting might make more sense.
The calculator can also factor in the estimated maintenance costs of homeownership, something many might not think about when deciding whether to rent or buy.
Check out SoFi’s Mortgage Calculator to get more insight into estimating your total monthly house payment so you can better budget your home buying journey.
Getting Started on Your Goals With These Tools
Your goals are probably pretty unique to you and where you’re at career-wise, with money, and maybe even with outstanding loans. So there’s probably not one end-all, be-all financial calculator to help you achieve all of your financial goals.
You might need to find the tools that make the most sense for you and your situation. Luckily, there are lots of calculators out there to help you get started.
Looking for more resources and ready to start getting a better handle on your personal financial picture? Check out SoFi’s full library of tools & calculators!
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SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF DECEMBER DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE
FOR MORE INFORMATION. Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.