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Student Loan Calculator

Estimate your student loan payments.

Trying to figure out how to budget towards your current or future loan payments? This calculator estimates how much you’ll be paying each month so you can better prepare for your upcoming bills.

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How to Use the Student Loan Calculator

Using the student loan calculator is a simple way to estimate how much you owe on your student loans. To use the calculator, you’ll need the following.

Loan Amount

Enter the total loan amount you owe in this section. If you owe multiple loans, enter the total value of all of the loans.

Average interest rate

Enter the interest rate on your loan. If you are adding the cumulative total of multiple loans, average the interest rate on all of the loans.

Loan term

Enter the remaining loan term in months.

Understanding the Results

Based on the information provided, the loan calculator will provide estimates for your estimated monthly payment, total repayment amount, and total interest owed.

Your estimated monthly payment

This is an estimate of the monthly payment you’ll owe each month, including the principal and interest on the loan.

Total repayment amount

This is an estimate of the total value you’ll be responsible for repaying over the life of the loan. This calculation assumes that you make on-time payments each month, and do not make any overpayments to accelerate the loan’s payoff.

Total interest

This is an estimate of the total interest you’ll owe over the life of the loan. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the loan amount. On most student loans, except Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loans, the interest begins accruing as soon as the loan is disbursed.

Benefits of Using a Student Loan Calculator

Using a student loan calculator can help provide a reliable estimate of how much a loan will cost you in the long-term, in addition to a good estimate of how much you’ll owe each month. If you plan on making over-payments to accelerate your loan pay-off, this information won’t be included in the calculations.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Loan

Borrowing a student loan is a big financial commitment. Here are some of the important factors to consider.

Federal vs Private Student Loans

Student borrowers can choose between federal vs private student loans. Federal student loans are awarded through the Direct Loan Program and to apply, students will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.

Federal student loans generally offer a lower interest rate than private student loans and have other benefits like deferment or forbearance protections. Direct Subsidized Loans are need-based loans for undergraduate students that are subsidized by the federal government so that borrowers will not be responsible for paying accrued interest while they are actively enrolled in school or during qualifying periods of deferment. However, there are annual and cumulative borrowing limits on federal student loans so they may not be enough to help borrowers pay for all of their college.

In that case, private student loans can be an option to consider. Private student loans are borrowed directly from a private lender such as a credit union, bank, or other financial institution. To apply, interested students will fill out an application directly with the lender of their choice. Rates and terms on the loan will be set by the lender based on borrower information like their credit score, history, and income. Because college students may not have credit history, a cosigner may be required. Private loans aren’t required to offer the benefits and protections afforded to private student loans.

Fixed vs Variable Rates

Fixed vs variable interest rates is another factor to consider. Fixed interest rates remain the same for the life of the loan. Variable interest rates change in line with benchmark rates over the life of the loan.

Federal student loans have fixed interest rates that are set annually by Congress. Private student loans may have either fixed or variable interest rates. When choosing between a fixed or variable rate loan, consider factors including how long you’ll be repaying the loan and your personal financial situation. For example, variable rate loans generally have a lower starting rate than fixed rate loans, but because the loan fluctuates this rate might increase over time. Fixed rate loans, on the other hand, may have a higher starting rate, but will not fluctuate overtime which means your monthly payments will be predictable.

Repayment Terms

The overall repayment terms are another major consideration. Borrowers with federal student loans can choose from the federal repayment plans, including income-driven repayment options. Borrowers are able to change their repayment plan at any time with no fees.

Private student loans will generally detail the repayment terms up front. Some lenders may offer a few different repayment terms for borrowers to choose from. Private student loans may require in-school repayment, or some lenders may offer deferment options. Pay attention to interest costs, as interest will likely accrue while a private student loan is deferred. Because loan terms may vary, contact the lender directly with any questions or concerns.

What’s Next: Apply for a Private Student Loan

If federal student loans aren’t enough to cover your college costs, private student loans can be an option to consider. Generally, private lenders will allow students to borrow up to the cost of attendance, less any other financial aid they’ve received.

If you are interested in a private student loan, consider SoFi. Private student loans with SoFi have no fees, offer competitive interest rates to qualifying borrowers, and becoming a SoFi member qualifies you for other member-perks like career-coaching.

Other student loan calculators

Student Loan Payoff Calculator

Use this calculator to get an idea of when your student loan payoff date will be.

Student Loan Refinancing Calculator

Use this calculator to see how much you could save by refinancing your student loans.

FAQ

What’s the difference between fixed and variable rates?

Fixed rates are set for the life of the loan and will not change over time.

Variable rates may fluctuate over time based on the prevailing interest rate. Most variable rate loans will have a rate cap, which is the maximum interest rate on the loan.

Which is better for student loans, fixed or variable rates?

All federal student loans have a fixed interest rate.

Private student loan borrowers may choose between a fixed or variable rate loan. What makes sense for you will depend on your personal financial situation. If you plan to repay the loan in a relatively short period of time, a variable rate loan may allow you to pay less in interest over the life of the loan. A fixed rate loan can provide security if you will be repaying for a longer period of time because it will not change.

What’s a loan term?

A loan term is the amount of time over which you have to repay the loan. These terms are generally set when you borrow the loan.

How to choose the right student loan offer?

Generally speaking, federal student loans are prioritized over private student loans. If you have exhausted all of your federal student loan options, private student loans may be another solution. To choose a private student loan, consider factors including the lender’s reputation and customer service, the interest rate, any fees associated with the loan, and repayment terms and any other conditions.

How can I reduce the cost of my student loan?

To reduce the overall cost of your student loan you could make overpayments on your loan which could help you reduce the amount of money you’ll owe in interest and expedite your repayment.

Another option is to consider refinancing the student loan which could help you secure a lower interest rate. As long as the loan repayment term is not extended, lowering your interest rate could help you spend less money in interest over the life of the loan.

How does interest accrue on my student loan?

Interest on federal student loans accrues on a daily basis. At the end of a period of non-payment, such as the grace period, the accrued interest will be capitalized on the loan amount. This means the accrued interest will be added to the principal value of the loan. This new total will be considered the new principal value of the loan and interest will continue to accrue based on this new total.

Generally interest on private student loans also accrues on a daily basis. Confirm with your lender or by reviewing your loan’s terms and conditions.

What information do I need to apply for a student loan?

To apply for a federal student loan you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA, which will require personal and financial information.

To apply for a private student loan, you’ll fill out an application directly with the lender of your choice. The exact requirements may vary, but you’ll likely need to know how much you want to borrow, and provide personal information like your address, income, employer, and more. Private lenders will also generally conduct a credit check.

Should I start paying off student loans before graduation?

Federal student loans do not require students who are enrolled at least half-time to make payments on their student loans while they are in school. Private lenders may or may not require payments while the borrower is still in school.

Making payments on your student loan before you graduate (if these payments aren’t required) could help you accelerate the loan repayment, which could ultimately help you save money over the life of the loan.

Whether you are looking to borrow for school or refinance your student loans, SoFi can help.

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