Although it can take a long time to qualify for a student loan forgiveness program, getting your student debt canceled could be well worth the wait. To keep yourself motivated, try estimating your projected loan forgiveness with free online calculators.
Seeing how much you’ll save might not speed up your loan forgiveness timeline, but it will help you stay on track until that day finally comes. We’ll cover…
For some borrowers, calculating your projected loan forgiveness is easy and doesn’t require much math. Certain student loan forgiveness programs forgive flat amounts or a percentage of student loans.
For example, Perkins Loan cancellation is awarded on a percentage basis. You could have a maximum of between 50% and 100% of your Perkins Loans wiped away in five years or less, depending on your profession and circumstances.
For the more complicated types of loan forgiveness, though — like Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and relief tied to income-driven repayment plans — a calculator might come in handy.
Whether you qualify for PSLF is dependent on your field of work, your loans and whether you make timely payments. You can confirm your eligibility by submitting an Employment Certification Form (ECF) to the Department of Education. As of March 31, 2020, more than 2.87 million ECFs were approved.
If you’re on an income-driven plan, you can still have your loans forgiven. Unfortunately, it will take 20 or 25 years of payments to have your loans canceled.
Let’s review free online calculators that determine your projected loan forgiveness. Each can help you see how much you’ll pay in interest, when you can expect your debt to be wiped away and how much you might owe in taxes on your forgiven loans.
This nifty tool from the government was designed to help you choose a repayment plan for your federal loans. It pumps out your projected loan forgiveness if you’re pursuing PSLF, too.
To start, you can log in to your account with your Federal Student Aid ID or enter your information manually.
As you go through the tool, you’ll need to indicate information such as your income, loan balance and state of residence.
For each plan that is eligible for loan forgiveness, you’ll be able to see your payoff date and how much relief you can receive.
Let’s say, for example, you’re a Michigan resident earning $50,000 per year and expect a 2% raise annually. You owe $34,722 at a 4.53% rate and are pursuing PSLF.
If you indicate that your main goal is to lower payments, the loan simulator tool will suggest the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) plan.
In this example, the loan simulator shows that you’ll pay $33,326 toward your loan and receive $12,784 after 10 years.
Note that any changes in your life, such as growing your family or your salary significantly, could blow up these assumptions and affect how much relief you receive down the road.
Who is the loan simulator best for?
The Department of Education’s loan simulator is best suited for borrowers just entering repayment. If you’re already months into paying down your debt, the repayment figures might be less accurate, as will your projected loan forgiveness.
A borrower who has paid off $5,000 of a $20,000 loan under standard repayment, for example, might see inaccuracies for their loans under income-driven repayment plans. The total amount paid — and the total that can be forgiven — might be off.
Like all calculators, this one is designed to be used by many borrowers — that’s why it makes assumptions. For the most accurate telling of your loan situation, check in with your loan servicer.
Our calculators make the same assumptions with one significant exception: You can plug in your own rate of salary growth. We suggest 3.5%, which is based on historical data, as opposed to the Education Department’s 5% figure.
You might find yourself entering in a smaller or larger annual increase based on your career prospects. A teacher with guaranteed, incremental raises, for example, should be able to more accurately guess their future salary.
Our PSLF calculator is below. Use it to see how PSLF can help erase your debt.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Calculator
But even if you’re ineligible for PSLF, we still make it easy to project your loan forgiveness. There are calculators for estimating relief associated with these income-driven repayment plans:
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR) calculator
- Income-Contingent Repayment calculator
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE) calculator
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) calculator
Under these repayment plans, your projected loan forgiveness would arrive after 20 or 25 years of making payments.
If you owe $35,000, for example, switching from a standard repayment plan to an IBR plan would cost more over a longer period. You’d pay more in interest over time in exchange for smaller monthly payments.
Use the calculator below to see how IBR will affect your monthly payments and how much you can have forgiven.
INCOME BASED REPAYMENT (IBR) CALCULATOR
Thankfully, there won’t be a tax hit for your projected loan forgiveness through PSLF or student loan forgiveness for teachers — but Uncle Sam might come calling if you take advantage of other forgiveness programs.
There aren’t online tools for estimating how much you’ll pay in taxes for loan forgiveness, but you can do some simple math to understand how your loan forgiveness will be taxed. If you earn $30,000 in a year and have a $30,000 student loan debt canceled in the same year, the IRS will tax you as if you earned $60,000.
Once you have your new income, as unfair as it might seem, you can plug it into any number of free online income tax calculators. There are lots of free income tax calculators out there, including those available on the websites of the IRS and various tax preparers.
The tax on your forgiven loan balance isn’t ideal. But it only dampens your situation if you don’t plan for it, so be prepared.
Student loan borrowers are usually trying to get out in front of something bad, such as a late payment or a defaulted loan. But looking ahead to student loan forgiveness can make you feel better about your debt. Although forgiveness could be years away, seeing the number itself might inspire you to work toward it.
So get moving. Give these tools a spin to see what your future holds — it might be rosier than you imagined.
For additional loan forgiveness options, check out our complete list of student loan forgiveness programs.
Rebecca Safier contributed to this article.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|2.49% – 11.72%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.30%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|4.13% – 7.39%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.99%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.99%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.24% – 8.24%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.48% – 7.98%||Undergrad |
|1.74% – 7.99%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.69% – 9.92%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 6, 2022.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $9 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 09/09/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 4.13% APR – 7.39% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.99% APR – 9.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
4 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
You can choose between fixed and variable rates. Fixed interest rates are 3.99% – 8.74% APR (3.74% – 8.49% APR with Auto Pay discount). Starting variable interest rates are 2.74% APR to 8.24% APR (2.49% – 7.99% APR with Auto Pay discount). Variable rates are based on an index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) plus a margin. Variable rates are reset monthly based on the fluctuation of the index. We do not currently offer variable rate loans in AK, CO, CT, HI, IL, KY, MA, MN, MS, NH, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, and VA.
5 Important Disclosures for Navient.
6 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates range from 3.99% APR to 8.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 3.24% APR to 8.24% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
7 Important Disclosures for Purefy.
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Rate and Terms Disclosure: Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranges and examples are based on information provided to Purefy by lenders participating in Purefy’s rate comparison platform. For student loan refinancing, the participating lenders offer fixed rates ranging from 2.73% – 7.99% APR, and variable rates ranging from 1.74% – 7.99% APR. The maximum variable rate is 25.00%. Your interest rate will be based on the lender’s requirements. In most cases, lenders determine the interest rates based on your credit score, degree type and other credit and financial criteria. Only borrowers with excellent credit and meeting other lender criteria will qualify for the lowest rate available. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens.
Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69%-9.92% (3.69%-9.92% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49%-10.11% (4.49%-10.11% APR).
Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 6.39%- 9.60% (6.39% – 9.60% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.58% – 9.79% (6.58% – 9.79% APR).
Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69% – 9.16% (3.69% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.35% (4.49% – 9.35% APR).
Education Refinance Loan for Parents Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69%- 9.09% (3.69%- 9.09% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.28% (4.49% – 9.28% APR).
Medical Residency Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.69% – 9.16% (3.69% – 9.16% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.49% – 9.35% (4.49% – 9.35% APR).