Looking to pay off your student loans faster? With our Student Loan Payoff Calculator, you can see how quickly you can be student debt-free!
This calculator also serves as a student loan extra payment calculator so you can see how long it will take you to pay off your student loans by adding extra payments, refinancing your student loans, or doing both!
Student Loan Payoff Calculator
|Months to payoff||Total Interest Paid|
|With extra payments|
|If you refinanced to a lower rate|
|If you made extra payments AND refinanced|
|You could be debt-free as soon as|
Perks of paying off your student loans faster
Paying off your student loan debt as soon as possible can result in many benefits. You can save thousands of dollars in interest and free up funds to put toward your savings and retirement plan, for example.
Plus, you’ll lower your debt-to-income ratio, which can be important if you’re trying to buy a home or take out a business loan, not to mention the peace of mind you’ll get from not carrying around a massive amount of debt.
Savings in action
Let’s look at how paying your student loans off early can save you money. Pretend you owe $75,000 at 6% with a standard 10-year repayment term, and your required monthly payment is $833.
Using the Student Loan Payoff Calculator, you can see it would take 120 full monthly payments to pay off your student debt and result in an additional $24,903 in interest over the life of your loan.
Now, let’s say you can afford to put an additional $167 toward your student loans to give you an even $1,000 payment each month. You’d pay off your debt two years early (in a total of 94 monthly payments) and save about $5,600 in interest just by paying a little extra each month.
Refinancing can save you money
You could save even more by using the Student Loan Payoff Calculator to estimate your savings from refinancing your student loans.
Using the same scenario, let’s say you’re able to refinance your $75,000 debt down to a new 4.5% interest rate and continue paying $1,000 each month.
You’d pay off your total debt within 88 months (or about seven years) and only pay a total of $13,229 in interest. In that scenario, you’d yield a savings of $11,674 in interest alone due to a lower refinancing rate and higher monthly payment.
Use the Student Loan Payoff Calculator to plug in your own student loan numbers and see how much you can save in different scenarios.
Using the Student Loan Payoff Calculator
The Student Loan Payoff Calculator makes a few assumptions, including:
- You’ve entered the correct data for your current amount owed, monthly payment and interest rates.
- All of your student loans are included in your choice to refinance.
- Any extra payment amount is applied equally across all of your loans.
- You make the same extra payment each month.
- You’re able to refinance at the rate you’ve entered.
- You’re using a weighted average interest rate for your student loans. A weighted average takes the principal balance of each loan into account, in addition to the interest rate. Here’s an example calculation:
1. Multiple each loan amount by its interest rate to get the “per-loan weight factor.”
Loan 1: $15,000 x 4% = 600
Loan 2: $20,000 x 7% = 1400
2. Add all per-loan weight factors.
600 + 1400 = 2000
3. Add all loan amounts together.
$15,000 + $20,000 = $35,000
4. Divide the total per-loan weight factor by the total loan amount. Then multiply by 100 to get the weighted average.
(2000 / 35,000) × 100 = 5.71428571%
5. Round to the nearest highest one-eighth of 1%.
Round up to 5.75%
This calculator is for informational purposes only. It should be used to estimate how much you may be able to save given different scenarios. It doesn’t guarantee any rates, savings or other information.
Student loan payoff FAQs
When you’re exploring various ways to manage your debt payments and budget, it’s normal to have a lot of questions. Take one what-if or how-to question at a time and get the information you need to make an educated decision. Here are the answers to several frequently asked questions about paying off student loans.
Should I pay off my student loans or wait?
Paying your student loans off early can save you money, but it may not be the best option for everyone.
As a general rule, consider making extra payments if your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is below 1.5 to 1.0 and you make at least $50,000 annually. If you owe more than 1.5 times your salary, you may benefit more by taking advantage of income-driven repayment (IDR) plans that offer loan forgiveness.
Can I pay off a student loan early without penalty?
Yes, there is no prepayment penalty for federal or private student loans. But you could run into issues with being put into paid-ahead status if you’re on a federal IDR plan.
Paid-ahead status can affect which payments are counted as qualified payments toward loan forgiveness. If you’re planning on making extra payments, contact your loan servicer directly to ensure your qualifying payments are applied correctly to your tally for your loan forgiveness application.
How can I pay off student loans faster?
You can use many strategies to pay down your student loans faster. You can refinance your loans to a lower interest rate or make biweekly payments so that you’re making the equivalent of 13 monthly payments in a year. Or you can pay as much extra money as you can each month by taking on a side hustle or cutting back on your expenses.
How many payments does it take before my student loans are forgiven?
The number of payments required to qualify for student loan forgiveness depends on your repayment plan. If you’re pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), your remaining loan balance is forgiven tax-free after 120 qualifying payments; whereas, IDR plans provide forgiveness after 20 to 25 years of qualifying payments.