Student loan payoff calculator

See your student debt repayment timeline, calculate interest, and get helpful tips with this handy calculator.1
Your student loan payoff plan 🚀
Your payoff plan
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How to use EarnIn’s student loan calculator

Figuring out the best student loans for your education can be tough — unless you have the right tools. Like our student loan calculator.

To help guide you on your student loan journey, this page explores the main types of student loans, how to apply for them, and answers to some of the most common questions student borrowers have.

Using the student loan interest rate calculator is simple and intuitive. You can find your estimated monthly payments, the total interest you’ll pay, and when you’ll become debt-free if you make all your payments on time — all without having to calculate student loan interest on your own.

Here's the information you’ll need to gather:

  1. Loan amount. Enter the total amount you want to borrow or have already borrowed. Keep in mind there are limits to how much you can borrow, depending on the type of loan and your student status. For federal loans, undergraduates can borrow between $5,500 and $12,500 per year in federal Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 per year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans but are not eligible for Direct Subsidized Loans. Private loans may have higher limits (but also higher rates).
  2. Loan term. Enter the number of years you’ll take to pay back your loan. Federal student loans typically have a standard repayment term of 10 years, but there are also extended repayment plans that can stretch up to 25 years. Private student loan terms vary but are often between 5 and 20 years.
  3. Interest rate. Enter the yearly interest rate for your loan. Federal student loans have fixed interest rates set by the government each year. For the 2023–2024 academic year, the interest rates are 5.50% for Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans taken out by undergraduates, 7.05% for Direct Unsubsidized Loans taken out by graduate students, and 8.05% for Direct PLUS Loans. If you have a private student loan, your interest rate could be fixed or variable. Check with your lender to confirm your loan’s interest rate.
  4. Graduation year. Enter the expected or actual graduation date. This date will be used to calculate the interest accrued until the student graduates and starts paying the loan. If the student has already graduated, the calculator assumes the loan repayment starts a month from today.

Finally, click the “Calculate your payoff plan” button at the bottom of the calculator to see your results. If you have multiple student loans, enter the details for each one separately. That way, you’ll get a complete understanding of what you owe and how long it’ll take to pay it back. You got this.

Types of student loans

There are a few main types of student loans out there. Federal loans tend to have the most favorable interest rates and repayment terms, but they have more stringent eligibility conditions and lower limits than many private loans.

Some of the most common student loan types include:

It's generally best to exhaust your federal student loan options before turning to private loans since federal loans offer more benefits and protections, such as income-driven repayment plans and loan forgiveness programs.

How to apply for a student loan

The first step in getting any type of student loan financial aid is applying for it. Luckily, the process is straightforward. Here's what you need to know:

To receive federal student loans, you need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form helps determine what kind of financial aid you qualify for, including loans and grants. (Grants are a type of financial aid you don’t have to pay back.) You’ll need to provide information about your family’s income and assets, as well as about your own financial situation. But student loans are unsecured, so there’s no need to provide information about potential collateral to back the loan. It’s just to determine how eligible you are. Make sure to submit your FAFSA as early as possible each year to maximize your chances of receiving aid.

Once your FAFSA is processed, you’ll receive a financial aid award letter outlining the types and amounts of aid you’re eligible for. Choose which loans to accept and how much to borrow. Remember: you don’t have to accept the full amount offered. It’s good to borrow only what you really need to keep monthly payments and interest low.

Applying for private loans is a little different. You’ll need to research lenders, compare interest rates and repayment terms, and consider eligibility requirements and borrower benefits. Many lenders let you apply online and offer pre-qualification tools to help you see what rates you may qualify for without affecting your credit score.

When comparing private student loans, look for lenders that offer competitive interest rates, flexible repayment options, and a reputation for good customer service. Also, keep in mind that you may need a cosigner for private loans if you have limited credit history or income.

Quick answers to great questions
How much are student loan payments usually?
Is it a good idea to pay off my student loans early?
What if I lose my job? Do I still have to pay my student loans?
Can I get my loans forgiven?