Unlike other existing tools, my free student loan calculator shows the costs of the various income driven repayment plans, private refinancing, and the 10 year standard plan. I believe I’ve created the most powerful tool available in the country to model your student debt.
How to Start: The ‘Inputs’ Tab
Once you’ve downloaded the spreadsheet, you will want to start on the ‘Inputs’ tab. I’ve pre-filled it with an example. Feel free to delete that information and enter your own in the white boxes.
Once you’ve entered in everything, you can now move to the next tab by selecting it or pressing the blue hyperlink in the top right of the sheet.
See the Results in the ‘Main Page’ Tab
This is where all the interesting results of the free student loan calculator are summarized. Moving from left to right, the first column to look at is the ‘Total Payments.’ This is the total dollars that you’ll spend paying back your student loans based on the info you entered in the ‘Inputs’ tab.
The next column is the ‘Remaining Balance.’ Obviously, if you use an income driven repayment plan with a large debt balance, you won’t fully repay your loans. For private sector workers, that means a huge tax payment in the year of forgiveness, which is shown in column D. The total nominal cost in column E adds the two together to show you the total dollars that will leave your pocket under each repayment option.
Of course, $100,000 over 10 years isn’t the same as $100,000 over 25 years. That’s why I equalize the dollars spent under each repayment plan in column F. I use the rate of return you provide in the gray boxes on the right of the sheet to calculate these numbers.
The final info in this sheet shows the year of repayment or forgiveness, the effective interest rate, the first monthly payment, and the monthly savings needed to pay the tax penalty in the year of forgiveness.
Exclusive Private Refinancing Bonus Links in the Free Student Loan Calculator
If private refinancing shows up as the cheapest option in this free student loan calculator, I provide links you can use to get a cash bonus for yourself. I think these are very valuable because they don’t affect your interest rate, they give you $200-$300 you wouldn’t have had if you had visited the sites directly, and it helps support my business and future free content creation.
When you check what your rate might be for your student loans, it does not impact your credit score to get an estimate of what you could qualify for. If you decide to actually go through with it, then your score is impacted slightly.
Look Under the Hood in the ‘Calculations’ Tab
Some folks like detail and others like high level summaries. If you like to get into the weeds, the final ‘Calculations’ tab shows all the detailed calculations that go into the ‘Main Page’ summary. Using this tab, you can see the impact of interest subsidies under the REPAYE program, growth of monthly payments over time as income changes, how fast the balance falls under different private refinancing options, and much more.
Manage Your Student Loans so They Don’t Manage You
If you find this spreadsheet useful, please share it so can others can benefit. If you still want more help understanding your student loan repayment options, you can hire me to do a consult for you for a low flat fee at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve helped over 130 clients save over $13 million on their student loans in my first few months since founding this startup. I’ve worked with dozens of dentists, doctors, veterinarians, lawyers, businesspersons, chiropractors, and pharmacists. I’d love to hear feedback on the spreadsheet as well.