Our 2022 Student Loan Payoff Calculator
Making extra student loan payments can help you to get out of student debt more quickly. If this is something that interests you, our calculator can help you see how soon you can be student-debt-free!
Figure out your debt-free date
Learn how much you can save on interest by making extra payments
See how many years you can take off your repayment
Why pay off your student loans early?
Most every student loan borrower dreams of the day where they won't have to make monthly payments anymore.
For some, there is the promise of more financial independence. And for others, it is more of a personal pride. Maybe you're looking to move onto some of life's more fun financial goals, such as buying your first home.
In this instance, getting rid of some debt ahead of schedule will allow you to improve your debt-to-income ratio, and may even be the difference between getting that loan to make your dream come true and being denied in underwriting.
Benefits to paying off your student loans faster
Getting out of student loan debt earlier in life has numerous benefits that you should take into account. Among these are:
Avoiding thousands of dollars of future interest that won't accrue
Begin preparing for life's more fun financial goals
You're probably interested by getting rid of your student loans as soon as possible, but there's a chance that you can't afford to pay hundreds of dollars more per month right now. In that instance, you may want to consider refinancing.
How to get out of student loan debt more quickly
Our debt payoff calculator will show you how soon you can be debt-free if you contribute extra money each month towards your loans. This can be done in a couple of ways (HINT: we just mentioned one of them!)
Our loan payoff calculator will help you to...
1. Calculate your student loan payoff date
For the purposes of our calculator, we define your student loan payoff date as the point in time where you'll no longer be left with any student loan payments to make.
Calculating the payoff date for your student loan debt is dependent on the loan term(s) of your existing student debt.
If you've never taken any action to switch repayment plans, you're likely still enrolled in a Standard Repayment plan, which carries a term of 10 years. Using this term, combined with the length of time in which you've been making payments, we'll be able to tell you when you're on pace to finish making your student loan payments.
And we're also able to show you how making extra payments along the way could help move this date up. You'll likely be surprised that, oftentimes, an extra $50-$100 per month could save you a year or more of additional payments in the future.
2. See your updated amortization schedule
As you make extra payments, your student loan amortization will change over time. This is because, as you pay down the principal of your loan(s), there will be less of an outstanding balance available to accrue interest as the months and years go on.
Student debt, like cars, mortgages, and other types of debt, has amortization that changes over time, since you're paying a different amount in interest and principal each month.
And since student loans (outside of income-driven repayment plans) carry the same payments month after month, year after year, you'll be able to project how the loan's amortization will change when you pay down a little extra principal each month.
By doing so, you're effectively eliminating part of your loan ahead of time, before it has time to accrue any further interest that was included in your original payments and term structure.
Luckily, our calculator is dynamic and will update automatically based on the inputs that you give it.
3. See how much you can save in interest payments
The best part of pursuing an early payoff is that it also saves you money! Consider this example.
Imagine it is January 2022 and that you owe $50,000 in student loan debt, at an interest rate of 5.8%, on a 10-year standard repayment plan that would leave you in debt until 2032. In this scenario, you'll pay $550 a month, and pay over $16,000 in interest over your 10-year repayment.
Now, let's imagine that you can come up with an extra $150 per month on top of your $550 payment. By doing so, you'll:
Get out of student debt in less than 7.5 years
Save $4,534 in interest (paying $11,480 instead of over $16,000)
This extra $4,500 you're saving could then be freed up to save for a home, start saving for retirement, or pay off any other debts that you might have.
Sure, you'll lose the deductibility of your student loan interest sooner, but a tax deduction is not a reason to stay in debt.
And you'll be able to start working towards your other financial goals sooner!
Get a personalized student loan plan!
A customized student loan plan, which compares OVER 10 different repayment strategies
Your expected payments, balances, and debt-free dates for each strategy
A live consultation with Nate
Student loan refinancing to pay off your loans more quickly
If aggressive student loan repayment is for some reason not a feasible option for you, remember that you can refinance your student loans to achieve lower payments or a faster repayment. In some situations, it may even be possible to do both!
Remember than $50,000 in federal debt that you held at 5.8% from above? It carried a monthly payment of $550 a month.
Let's say that you find a lender willing to refinance this debt to 4.25%, which will lower your monthly payment to $512 per month. But for this example, imagine that you could keep paying the $700 per month that you were paying before, which consisted of your $550 monthly payment plus the $150 principal payment.
In this scenario, you will repay your student loans 3 years and 2 months faster!
$50,000 in debt at 5.8% and $550 per month will take 10 years to repay
$50,000 in debt at 5.8% and $700 per month will take less than 7 years, 6 months to repay
$50,000 refinanced at 4.25% and $700 per month will take less than 6 years, 10 months to repay
Making extra student loan payments
When you decide to make extra payments, do not assume that your lender is automatically going to process it correctly. If you're unclear and your loan servicer puts your payment towards the next month's interest payment, you're not going to reap the maximum benefits you otherwise could have.
So, to ensure that your additional payments go towards the principal on your loan, you're going to want to do the following, depending on how you're making the payment.
Online - If you're paying online, keep your eyes out for an extra box that says something along the lines of "Pay additional principal amount." This is where you'll want to make your extra payments.
Via phone - Just make sure you communicate to the call representative that you are looking to make a principal payment.
There is also a chance that your lender or loan servicer will want you to submit a request in writing prior to processing additional payments for you. If so, you can just type out your request and email/mail it to the appropriate place.
Our student loan payoff calculator
Like any tool you find on the Internet, this payoff tool makes some assumptions that you should be aware of, including:
If you refinance, you're refinancing all of your outstanding student loans (or else your debt-free date may not be 100% accurate).
Your monthly payments are always the same amount.
Student loan payoff frequently asked questions
Below are answers to the questions that are undoubtedly on your mind.
How do I find extra money to put towards my loans?
This is the million-dollar question. You may consider using any extra money that you come across in order to make some extra progress on your loans. Especially if you can't afford any extra money every month, the following may present you with opportunities for you to make progress whenever you can.
Tax refunds - If you're fortunate enough to receive a federal and/or state refund, you may consider making a larger one-time payment towards your outstanding balance.
Gifts and bonuses - Are you set to receive gifts soon for a birthday, holiday, or life event? While not the most fun use of any money you come across, it can really make a difference. The same goes with a year-end or performance bonus at work too!
We recently wrote an article for teachers about side hustles you should consider to make some extra money to put towards your student loan debt, but it is applicable for all professions.
How do extra payments pay off your student loans faster?
When you make extra student loan payments, you can usually designate them to count towards your principal balance. When you make these extra principal payments, you're really doing two things:
Making future principal payments ahead of time
Preventing future interest from ever accruing on these loans
One thing that you are going to want to investigate is whether your student loan lenders and servicers charge any other fees or prepayment penalties. Most do not, but you're still going to want to make sure.
Is student loan prepayment for everybody?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to generalize and say that an early payoff is the right strategy for everybody. This is largely dependent on your income situation, disposable income, and the repayment strategy that you are using to get out of debt.
For example, you likely do not actually want to pay off your student balance early if:
You're working towards a student loan forgiveness program via Income-Driven Repayment, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, or another program. Remember - the point of these programs is to have a balance at the end of your repayment to be forgiven. If you pay all the way down to a $0 balance, there is a chance that you are making payments you don't need to make.
You have a really low interest rate(s). Generally, student loan borrowers debate whether to use excess savings to invest or pay down student debt, but if your loans carry low interest rates, your decision has likely been made easier. If you are fairly confident than you can earn a rate of return investing that is higher than the interest rate(s) on your student loans, you may want to make just your monthly payments as they come due. If you have just one loan at a higher rate, maybe you'll consider aggressively paying down just that loan.
On the other side, it very well may make sense for you to pay off your loans as soon as possible if:
You're on standard repayment and refinancing and can handle the payments easily. If this describes your situation, congratulations. You very well may want to consider coming up with some extra money each month to get out of debt sooner. Our calculator will help you to see how much quicker you may be able to.
Your loans have high interest rates. High interest debt is costly debt, and costly debt is devastating if left unchecked. If you have loans that are above 6-7%, it's important to make progress on them as soon as possible, either by aggressively paying it (them) down, or through refinancing if available to you.
Do student loans carry prepayment penalties?
These days, it is highly unlikely for any student loans to carry anything in the way of prepayment fees, money that you'll have to come up if you eliminate your loan before the end of its term. But to make sure you benefit as much as possible, make sure that any extra money that you are paying in any given month is going towards your outstanding principal balance.
Our student loan counseling
We offer customized student loan planning to help you decide whether student loan prepayment (and any other strategies) may be a good option for you.
Our student loan consultant Nate will then spend 90 minutes via Zoom reviewing it with you live.