7 Top Student Loan Calculators That Do Money-Saving Math For You

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You might have hated taking math in high school and wondered why you had to continue studying the subject in college (or why crazy people like me take three semesters of calculus). Yet, while you might not use it in your career, math is necessary at times. One of those times is repaying your student loans, especially if you want to pay off your loans faster while saving money. Luckily, there are student loan calculators that can help you do the heavy lifting.

I’m not saying that you need to sit down with your handheld calculator (I got rid of mine years ago) or Excel spreadsheets to sort all of this out. Fortunately, those highly familiar with student loans have already done the hard work for you. As a result, they’ve created student loan calculators specifically for this purpose.

Here are the best student loan calculators from around the web that can help you to make smart, informed decisions concerning your repayment strategy.

1. Repayment Estimator from the US Department of Education

What it does: Compares repayment plans for student loans

Why it’s helpful: Uses your loan and income information to show interest, forgiveness, and amounts paid for each repayment plan option

The Repayment Estimator is really handy for determining how much of your student loans could be forgiven if you’re on an eligible plan. Instead of blindly enrolling in an eligible plan and hoping that you’re making the right choice, the Repayment Estimator breaks it down for you.

One important calculation will reveal whether you qualify for student loan forgiveness in the first place. In some of the cases shown in this post, you might not.

The Repayment Estimator also takes your current income and assumes that your discretionary income will grow by 5% per year. While your income might not change by exactly that much, it’s much more likely to increase than stagnate during the next 20 years.

2. Repayment Calculator from Student Loan Hero

What it does: Shows you the effects of adding extra payments and choosing different repayment strategies

Why it’s helpful: Performs calculations automatically and syncs with your actual loans

Increasing your monthly repayments of student loans will likely help you to save money and pay off your loans more quickly. But knowing how much less money and time it will take is far more powerful and motivating.

The Repayment Student Loan Calculator on your Student Loan Hero account dashboard makes these calculations easy. With the loans you’ve synced to your account (you can sync them in just minutes), this calculator shows what happens when you change your monthly payment.

3. Student Loan Repayment Calculator from New York Times

What it does: Compares schools and repayment

Why it’s helpful: Automatically imports data by college and tells you what income you’ll need to make after college in order to make payments

Don’t know the average debt load of the college you’re attending or considering? This calculator will import a value automatically. All you have to do is type in the school’s name.

Understanding student loan repayment after college can be tough. Sure, paying $300 a month toward student loans doesn’t sound like a lot. But how much do you need to earn to be able to afford this?

The New York Times’s calculator answers this question for you. In this case, it says you’ll need to earn about $35,000 per year to keep student loans at 20% or less of your discretionary income.

Few, if any, student loan calculators harness the power of graphics quite like this calculator. The layout especially makes results easy to understand and to act upon.

4. Refinancing Calculator from Student Loan Hero

What it does: Compares the savings of refinancing loans to current loans

Why it’s helpful: Shows how much you can save by refinancing

Many of the calculators here show you what happens when you change your monthly payments and/or the length of your loan term. But there’s only one way to reduce the total cost of your loans and reduce monthly payments at the same time: refinancing.

The Student Loan Hero Refinancing calculator helps you to decide whether this decision could be right for you. Simply enter your current loan balance and interest rate, and the calculator will estimate your savings.

Unsure of what rates are available? Our post on student loan refinancing options will give you an idea so that you can get accurate estimate savings with the calculator.

5. Student Loan Calculator from the Washington Post

What it does: Shows you how much you need to make based on your student loans

Why it’s helpful: Imports salary information for your profession

Though simple, this calculator is quite helpful for comparing student loan debt to income in a given profession. It imports data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles information on wage estimates. It’s pretty much the go-to source for wage and earnings information.

But beware: The salary is the median salary regardless of experience, not the median starting salary. So be careful when assessing numbers with this feature.

6. Cost of Interest Capitalization Calculator from FinAid

What it does: Calculates the cost of deferring loans

Why it’s helpful: Indicates how much extra you’ll pay by deferring loans

This is the simplest calculator on the list, yet still applies to everyone who takes out student loans. It answers how much deferring loans will cost you.

You should know this number since interest charges don’t stop with unsubsidized loans in deferment. Instead, interest will keep adding up on top of your principal balance. You don’t want to be surprised when your principal turns out to be higher than your initial balance.

Use this calculator to find out whether deferring loans makes sense for you.

7. Payoff vs. Invest Calculator from Student Loan Hero

What it does: Tells you if it’s better to pay off debt or invest first

Why it’s helpful: Helps to settle the age-old question of paying off debt or investing based on your situation

Which will be better off for you in the long run: paying more toward your student loans or investing that money? This payoff vs. invest calculator helps you to figure it out.

Simply input your current student loan debt and interest rates, and complete the other information to get an estimate. Scroll to the bottom, and you’ll get a clear answer based on the values you’ve input.

Were you surprised by any of the results you found using these student loan calculators?

Interested in refinancing student loans?

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1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR 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. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.