How to Estimate Your Student Loan Payments
Estimate Your Student Loan Payments This lesson will show you how to: Take stock of your current and future student loan debt, Get an idea of your monthly payment obligation You’re probably in school for several reasons, but building a better future for yourself is likely high on the list. You know that your career dreams are achieved through education No matter what line of work you’ll go into, you’ll benefit from the skills you’ll gain through setting academic and professional goals, and then striving to reach them. In this video series we’re going to cast our eyes toward that beautiful future. We’ll estimate your debt, envision your future income, and discuss how the decisions you make today impact tomorrow. Let’s start by getting a handle on your current student loan debt. There are a number of places you can go to find your total student loan debt. You can always speak with the financial aid office at your school to see how much you’ve taken out in student loans. They have access to information about your past and present student loans. The Department of Education also will have your loan records. You can visit studentaid.gov to punch up your full inventory of federal loans. Once you have your list of student loans, determine which loans are subsidized, meaning you are not responsible for the accruing interest while you’re in school, which loans are unsubsidized meaning you ARE responsible for the accruing interest during school, and which loans are private. Be sure to note who your loan servicers are, what their contact information is, and what the interest rate is on all of your loans. Then use a repayment calculator to determine your monthly payment on these loans. Repayment calculators can be found in several places on the web. Try the Repayment Estimator at StudentLoans.gov. It’ll estimate your future payments and give you a repayment plan comparison. Every loan borrower’s situation is unique, so let’s use a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say Joe just pulled up his loan data. He has $15,000 in debt, but he’s only half way through his program. Using a repayment calculator, he figured his current debt would equal a roughly $150 a month payment on a 10-year standard repayment plan. His next move is to estimate how much he’ll need to borrow to finish his program, and how his interest will accrue while he’s completing it. When you’re doing this exercise, remember to factor in tuition and cost of living increases. Continuing our hypothetical, Joe doubled his debt over the second half of his degree program. With interest accruing, his full student loan debt on graduation day was $32,000. Now Joe’s payment is closer to $325 per month on a standard 10-year repayment plan. When loan repayment begins, Joe, as federal student loan borrower, has the option to explore various federal loan repayment plans. A standard repayment plan means his monthly payment is fixed for 120 payments. Yet, there are several other options and we’ll explore those later. You can always speak to your federal loan servicer if you have questions about federal repayment plans. Okay, our hypothetical is over. Let’s get back to reality. It’s time for you to go through the same exercise as Joe. Find your current debt load, estimate the amount of loans you’ll need to finish, and then calculate your estimated monthly repayment amount. How do you feel about this estimate? Does it seem like it will be manageable? How much money you plan to earn after school may factor in to how you answer those questions. We’ll talk about calculating your future income in the next video. Join us, won’t you?