This free online school loan calculator will help you to forecast the financial consequences of all of your combined educational borrowing.
The calculator will accept loan entries for up to 24 different student loans (up to 4 loans per year for up to 6 years), and will accommodate all types of loans: Subsidized, Unsubsidized, PLUS, and Private. The calculator also allows you to defer payments, capitalize interest, and make more than the minimum payments.
Plus, after clicking the Calculate Student Loan button, you can choose to see either a combined loan repayment schedule for all loans, or view each loan's payment schedule separately.
Finally, the calculator also includes a printer friendly report so you can print out different borrowing scenarios and compare them with others.
As is customary with most all government programs, the government prides itself in complicating its ever-changing student loan rules, limitations, stipulations, and exceptions to the point that only a genius legal attorney -- with a degree in finance and a photographic memory -- can know precisely what steps to take after reading the exhaustive documentation.
Unfortunately that usually leaves the rest of us (you know, the persons the programs were intended to help) lost in a maze of legal speak and unfamiliar financial terms.
And when you finally get over the confusion born migraines, and you gain enough courage to submit a student loan form, the feeling you get is probably comparable to the feeling you'd get when ...
So while it's impractical to try to summarize the maze of student loan documentation on a single web page, what I can do is:
Assuming you want just the basics you will need to use the student loan repayment calculator, I'll do my best to highlight the key points.
Before listing the loan types it's important to understand the basic differences between Subsidized and Unsubsidized student loans.
|Available to undergraduates based on financial need.||Available to undergraduates and graduates, no financial need requirement.|
|The U.S. Department of Education (A.K.A. taxpayers) pays your interest during school and for six months after leaving school.||You are responsible for paying the interest both during school and after leaving school. You can either pay the interest charges as they are charged (highly recommended), or you can let them build up and have them added to the amount you owe once you start making payments.|
|Your school determines how much you can borrow.|
Based on my research and my experience with helping my own children, there are basically 4 types of student loans:
Here are the basics for each of the four loan types:
While the Student Loan Calculator on this page isn't equipped to handle them, there are 4 types of federal repayment plans you might qualify for if your payments are high relative to your income:
For more information on these plans, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven.
With that, let's use the Student Loan Repayment Calculator to forecast your present and deferred monthly payment amounts, plus the estimated payoff date for each loan.
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Month and year you started or will start college: Select the month and year you started or will start college.
Number of years you plan on attending college: Select the number of years you plan to attend college. If you are already in college, and you would like to include student loans that you have already taken out, be sure include the years you have already completed in your selection.
Maximum number of loans per year: Select the maximum number of student loans you expect to take out in any one year. This will expand the loan entry form to accommodate the additional loans.
Load Example Loan Entries Button: Click this button to enter a set of example loan entries (1 loan for each year you plan on attending college). Note that you will be asked if you want to confirm a reset of the calculator before the examples will be entered. Once loaded you can choose to change the example entries to the actual variables, clear the examples one at a time, or reset the calculator to remove the examples.
Yr # column: This column will list the number pertaining to your nth year of college. Typically year #1 is your Freshmen year, #2 is your Sophomore year, #3 is your Junior year, and #4 is your Senior year. Each year will list up to 4 lines based on the maximum number of loans per year selected in the top section of the calculator.
Mo column: Select the month of the school year in which the loan was or will be originated. This will be used to start payments and/or start charging interest on unsubsidized loans taken out mid-year.
Amt column: Enter the amount borrowed for each student loan. For student loans, be sure each amount falls within the maximum allowed for the type of loan and the year number you are taking the loan out for. As of the last update of this calculator, maximum amounts for undergraduate direct loans were as follows:
Rate column: Enter the annual interest rate for each loan. Enter as a percentage (for .06, enter 6% or just 6). To give you an idea of what to enter, here are rates for various loan types around the years this calculator was created:
|Undergraduate Sub and Unsub|
|PLUS or Grad PLUS|
For the most up-to-date student loan interest rates, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/interest-rates.
Term (years) column: Enter the term of the loan in number of years. The most common number of years would be ten for a standard loan repayment term. Based on your income when you leave school, you may be eligible for other types of payment plans called income contingent repayment plans that would lower your monthly payments, but extend the number of years you have to repay the loan. For more information on these plans, visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/understand/plans/income-driven.
Min Pmt column: Enter the minimum monthly payment for each loan (typically $50). If the calculated monthly payment amount turns out to be less than the entered minimum payment, the calculated payment amount will be used instead -- which will shorten the term and reduce the interest charges on the loan. Feel free to increase the payment amounts to see how much interest you will save by paying more than the minimum.
Fee % column: If applicable, enter the loan origination fee percentage charged by the lender. Enter as a percentage (for .0169, enter 1.069% or just 1.069). Typically the loan origination fee is substracted from your disbursement before you get it, so it won't be included in loan repayment schedule. However, the amount of the fee will be listed in the results. The origination fees as of the creation date of this calculator were as follows:
|Undergrad Sub and Unsub:||1.069%|
|PLUS and Grad PLUS||4.276%|
Sub column: If the loan is subsidized, place a check in the checkbox. This will indicate that the government will pay your interest for you while you are in school and for 6 months after leaving school. After the deferment period you will begin making payments as normal. For unsubsidized loans, uncheck the checkbox, which will enable the Def and Cap checkboxes.
Def column: If the loan is unsubsidized and you wish to defer making principal payments until 6 months after leaving school, place a check in this checkbox. However, if you plan to make full payments while you are in school (recommended), leave the box unchecked. Note that this checkbox will only be enabled if the Sub checkbox is unchecked.
Cap Int column: If this is an unsubsidized loan, and you wish to capitalize the interest (add all accrued interest to loan balance after deferment period (not recommended), place a check in this box. If you plan to keep the interest current (pay interest as it gets charged, recommended), leave the checkbox unchecked. Note that this checkbox will only be enabled if the Sub checkbox is unchecked.
Add or Clear Loan column: Once you have entered all variables of a loan, and checked all applicable checkboxes, place a checkmark in the checkbox in this column to add the loan to your repayment plan. You can add and remove loans from your plan simply by checking and unchecking the box. Note that any time you make a change to an of the loan entries, the checkbox will need to be re-checked. To clear all entries and remove a loan from your plan, click the C button.
Show results for drop-down menu: Select All Loans to see the results for all loans combined, or select an individual loan to the see the results for that loan only. To print the report, click the Printer Friendly Report button displayed both at the top and the bottom of the following report area. This will open the displayed report in a separate window for printing.
Total borrowed: This is the total amount borrowed for either all loans, or for the selected loan.
Origination fees: If All Loans is selected, this field will list the total of all loan origination fees. If an individual loan is selected, the field will list loan origination fee for the selected loan.
Net disbursements: If All Loans is selected, this field will list the total disbursements less the total loan origination fees. If an individual loan is selected, the field will list the total disbursement less the loan origination fee for the selected loan.
Maximum payment: If All Loans is selected, this field will list the most you will pay for all loans during any one month of the repayment period. If an individual loan is selected, the field will list the higher of the minimum, entered, and amortized payment amounts.
Total interest: If All Loans is selected, this field will list the total of all interest charges for all loans, from starting school to paying off the last loan. If an individual loan is selected, the field will list interest cost for the selected loan.
Total payments: If All Loans is selected, this field will list the total of all interest and principal payments for all loans, from starting school to paying off the last loan. If an individual loan is selected, the field will list the total interest principal payments for the selected loan.