Updated: July 27, 2021 by FinPins
Use the FREE student loan payoff calculator app and calculate your early payoff and savings!
Student Loan Payoff Calculator: How to use? (with screenshots)
Step 1: Fill in the Basics of the Student Loan
Fill in all the relevant values such as the loan amount for example $75000, interest rate (yearly) for example 7.25%, loan tenure in years and months, for example 25 years and 0 months.
After filling in the details, hit the calculate button at the bottom.
Step 2: The Generic Loan Payoff Results Get Generated
Using the information provided in the form, the app calculates the following:
Monthly payment – how much you’re supposed to pay every month: $542.11
Total months remaining – how many months you’d have to make the payment to pay off the loan: 300 (i.e. 25 years you had input)
Total interest payable – this is the sum of all interest payments (on top of your principal amount or the borrowed amount of $75,000) you would pay to payoff the loan: $87,631.54
So effectively, you’d pay $87,631 (interest) + $75,000 (principal) = $162,631 in total.
Till here, it’s the basic loan repayment math. Next we will explore the impact of two things –
- refinancing to a lower rate
- making extra payments on top of calculated ‘monthly payment’
There are two fields below the calculated results for that.
Step 3: Measure Impact of Refinance on Student Loan Payoff
You should always check for refinance offers on your loans.
Suppose you find a lender that is willing to refinance your student loan at a lower rate, for example 5.25%. Enter 5.25 in the ‘what’s your refinance rate’ field.
Hit RE-CALCULATE button to see the impact of refinancing.
We observe that based on the lower interest rate of 5.25%, the new monthly payment is $449.44, down from $542.11.
A 2% lower interest rate enables you to save $27,800 in total interest!!!
Step 4: Measure Impact of Extra Payments on Student Loan Payoff
If you are not able to find a lower interest rate currently, you can still accelerate your student loan payoff by making small extra contributions every month.
Let’s say you can pay $50 extra every month, input 50 in the appropriate field and hit RE-CALCULATE.
The app recalculates your scenario taking the extra payment into account.
Based on the updated information, the new payment becomes $592.11 ($542.11 suggested monthly payment + $50 extra payment).
$50 extra monthly payment enables you to payoff your student loan 59 months faster and saves you $20,161 in total interest.
Step 5: Measure Impact of Both – Refinance and Extra Payments on Student Loan Payoff
Now this is the star scenario- you are able to refinance to a lower interest rate (5.25%) AND you commit to making extra payment ($50 per month) on the recommended monthly loan payments.
Based on the refinance rate of 5.25% and extra payment of $50 every month, your new monthly payment becomes $499.44 ($449.44 due to lower interest rate, as in step 3 + $50 extra monthly payment).
$50 extra every month and refinancing to 2% lower rate enables you to pay off the loan 54 months faster and save $40,216 in total interest.
Conclusion: For early payoff of student loans, there are two very effective levers you can pull: make extra payments and refinance to a lower rate
Bonus: See how a $100,000 loan for 25 years plays out at different interest rates varying from 0 to 12% interest rates per year.
The monthly payments and the total interest payable reduce drastically with every percentage point drop in the student loan interest rate. See chart below.
For the same loan amount of $100,000, a person who borrows the money at 3% interest pays $42,263 lifetime interest on the loan, and has monthly payments of just $474 while another person who borrows at 6% pays $644 monthly, and a lifetime interest of $93,290.
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