A big topic for many college students is how much their student loan payments will be when they graduate. Luckily, there are numerous online student loan payment calculators that show you estimates of how you can begin paying back your loans.
By simply filling in your loan information and personal information, you can get an idea of what type of monthly payments you’re looking at for the different repayment options.
Information You’ll Need
When you’re interested in learning the estimated payment options for your student loans, you’ll find plenty of online student loan payment calculators that can help. Although each calculator might ask for some different information, there’s also standard information that all calculators will need.
First, you’ll have to know the balance of your loans and their interest rates. Additionally, you’ll need to know whether you file your taxes as single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, or head of household.
Next, you’ll have to supply your adjusted gross income, which is the total taxable income minus certain reductions. You can find this number on your most recently filed IRS Form 1040. If you’re married, you’ll also need to supply your spouse’s adjusted gross income.
Finally, you’ll need to include your family size and the state where you live.
Standard Repayment Plan
One student loan calculator you’ll see online is the standard repayment plan calculator. When it’s time to repay your loans, you have the option of choosing which repayment plan you would like. If you don’t choose a plan, you’ll be placed on the standard repayment plan.
Under this plan, you have fixed monthly loan payments of at least $50 for up to 10 years. This repayment plan can save you money over time because your monthly payments might be slightly higher than payments made under other plans. You’ll also pay your loan off in the shortest amount of time, so you’ll pay the least amount of interest on the loan.
Graduated Repayment Plan
Another student loan calculator option you’ll find is the graduated repayment plan. Under this plan, your monthly loan payments will start low and then increase every two years. Your payment timeframe is 10 years, however, this doesn’t include any time when you get a deferment or forbearance.
Your monthly payments will at least equal the amount of interest you gain between payments and they won’t be three times higher than any other payment. Graduated repayment plans might be ideal for you if you expect your income will be low when you first graduate, but then will increase steadily over time.
Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan
The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) repayment plan is one of the income-driven student loan payment calculator options you will see. These types of plans are ideal for people who have high loan payments and low incomes.
This repayment plan limits your monthly payments to 10 percent of your discretionary income. Your discretionary income is the difference between 150 percent of the poverty level for your state and your adjusted gross income, divided by 12. The payment plans last for up to 20 years. However, to qualify for the PAYE plan, you must be a new borrower and show you have financial hardship.
Income-Based Repayment Plan
You’ll also see student loan calculators for income-based repayment (IBR) plans. If you’re a new borrower, this plan limits your monthly payments to 10 percent of your discretionary income. If you’re not a new borrower, the plan limits your monthly payments to 15 percent of your discretionary income.
Additionally, if you’re a new borrower, your repayment period is 20 years, and if you’re not, it’s 25 years. Keep in mind that like all other income-driven repayment plans, your required monthly payment will change depending on the family size and income information that you enter in the calculator.
Income-Contingent Repayment Plan
When you’re searching for student loan payment calculators, you might also see the income-contingent repayment (ICR) plan. With this plan, your monthly payments will be whichever of the following two options is cheaper: 20 percent of your discretionary income, or what you would pay on a 12-year repayment plan that’s adjusted according to your income.
Like the other income-driven repayment plans, any loan balance remaining at the end of the repayment period is forgiven.
If you’re interested in seeing what your student loan payments will look like, you can use one of these helpful student loan payment calculator options to get a good estimate.