Last Updated on December 15, 2022
How long will it take to pay off your student loans?
If you’re like most people in America, you’re probably paying off a student loan. And if you’re like most people, you probably have no idea how long it will take to pay it off.
Well, we’ve got good news for you: we can help! This calculator takes into account factors such as your current income and monthly payment amount, as well as inflation and interest rates. Then it calculates how much time it will take until your loans are paid in full.
How Long To Pay Off Student Loans Calculator
Make extra payments to pay off student loans faster. If you can free up more money for payments right now, you can cut down the total interest you pay, too.
Use this student loan payoff calculator to determine your debt-free date, then see how much time and money you could save by making extra student loan payments. You can see an amortization schedule as well.
|Average National Student Debt$28,400||Total Monthly Payment$297|
If you refinance your loans at a 3.66% rate then your loan payments will be $163 lower a year. See Refinance Rates
|LOAN||LOAN AMOUNT||INTEREST RATE||LOAN TERM||MONTHLY PREPAYMENT||MONTHLY PAYMENT|
College is supposed to be fun, right? Hollywood sure thinks so: in movies like Old School, Legally Blonde and Accepted, it’s one-half wild parties, one-half intellectual and emotional discovery. But that’s Hollywood—the schools themselves paint a different, but equally attractive picture. Open any admissions office pamphlet and you’ll find students lounging cheerfully in grassy campus spaces; friendly, approachable professors chatting with small clusters of adoring undergrads; clean, peaceful dormitories; and constantly perfect weather.
While both of these portrayals contain some truth (there are parties; the weather is nice sometimes), there’s one aspect of college that is often left out, or at least pushed to the sidelines: the price tag. While it’s no secret that getting a degree has grown more expensive in recent years, the numbers are nonetheless surprising. The cost of tuition and fees at public four year institutions increased by 17% over the past five years alone, according to data from The College Board.
Before using the student loan calculator above, come prepared with a few pieces of information about your loan.
Loan amounts vary depending on whether you’re exploring a federal or private student loan. The loan amount you’re offered might also be limited based on your enrollment level (e.g., undergraduate versus graduate or professional student) or degree program.
Federal student loan amounts
- Direct Subsidized Loans: Up to $5,500 annually.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Up to $12,500 annually.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: Up to $20,500 annually.
- Direct PLUS Loans: Up to the school’s reported cost of attendance, minus other financial aid received.
Parents of dependent undergraduate students:
- Parent PLUS loans: Up to the school’s reported cost of attendance, minus other financial aid received.
Private student loan amounts
Loan amounts for private student loans can vary by lender. Each lender sets its own borrowing criteria, annual borrowing limits, interest rates and repayment terms. In general, private student loan lenders offer loan amounts that cover the gap between a school’s cost of attendance and any other financial aid a student receives. Some lenders also impose lifetime borrowing limits, which may be up to $150,000 or more for some degrees. Regardless of whether you borrow federal or private student loans, borrow only the amount you need per school year after exhausting all grant and scholarship options. If you must take out loans to finance educational gaps, consider maximizing federal student loan limits before turning to a private student loan, as federal student loans come with additional benefits like income-driven repayment plans and standardized hardship programs.
Your loan term is the amount of time you have to repay the loan in full. For federal student loans under a standard repayment plan, the default loan term is 10 years. However, student loans that are under an alternative payment plan offer terms from 10 to 25 years. Like private student loan amounts, private student loan repayment terms vary by lender. Terms for private student loans can be as short as five years and as long as 20 years. A shorter loan term can help you save more money on interest charges during your repayment period but result in a larger monthly payment. Some lenders offer lower interest rates as an incentive for a short term length. On the flip side, a longer term for your student loans will lower your monthly payment but will accumulate more interest charges over time. Before borrowing student loans, make sure you know all of the term options your lender offers so you can choose the right path for your financial needs.
The interest rate you’re offered depends on the type of lender you’re pursuing and your financial picture. Federal student loans offer the same interest rate to all borrowers, regardless of credit score or income. Private student loans, on the other hand, will often do a credit check and set interest rates according to your creditworthiness. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rates. Keep in mind that the lowest interest rates advertised on lender websites may not be available to you. To find out what interest rates you’ll receive, take advantage of lenders’ prequalification features, if available. Prequalification allows you to input basic details about yourself and your desired loan in exchange for a snapshot of the rates and terms offered.
For many students, the only way to stay atop this rising tide has been by taking on an increasing amount of student loans. The result has been skyrocketing student loan debt over the past decade.
Not so fun, that – but don’t get discouraged. Sure, some recent graduates have student loan horror-stories to tell: high debt, low job prospects and a load of other expenses to boot; and others have simply stopped bothering to make loan payments at all (the total number of people with defaulted student loans recently climbed to over 7 million). Many graduates, however, find their debt to be manageable, and, in the long run, worthwhile.
The important thing is to know in advance what you’re getting yourself into. By looking at a student loan calculator, you can compare the costs of going to different schools. Variables like your marital status, age and how long you will be attending (likely four years if you are entering as a freshman, two years if you are transferring as a junior, etc.) go into the equation. Then with some financial information like how much you (or your family) will be able to contribute each year and what scholarships or gifts you’ve already secured, the student loan payment calculator can tell you what amount of debt you can expect to take on and what your costs will be after you graduate – both on a monthly basis and over the lifetime of your loans. Of course how much you will pay will also depend on what kind of loans you choose to take out.
average student loan interest rate
The average student loan interest rate is 5.8% among all households with student debt, according to a 2017 report by New America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. That includes both federal and private student loans — about 90% of all student debt is federal.
With a 5.8% interest rate on $30,000 of student loans, a borrower would pay about $9,600 in interest throughout 10 years.
The average student loan interest rate is higher among some groups, according to the report. For instance, the average rate is 6.3% among households where the borrower didn’t complete a college degree, and 6.6% among households with incomes less than $24,000.
If you have multiple student loans with different rates, the weighted average interest rate is the rate you’ll have if you consolidate the loans through the federal government. Federal consolidation won’t lower your average interest rate, but refinancing with a private lender could.
If you have begun repayment of your federal student loans, their interest rates have been set to 0% until after Aug. 31, 2022, and no payment is due before then.
If you are still borrowing for your education, the federal student loan interest rate for undergraduates is 3.73% for the 2021-22 school year. Federal rates for unsubsidized graduate student loans and parent loans are higher — 5.28% and 6.28%, respectively. The rates for the coming year go into effect on July 1.
Private student loan interest rates can sometimes be lower than federal rates, but approval for the lowest rates requires excellent credit. If you have good credit, you may be able to refinance existing student loans to get a lower rate.
Current student loan interest rates
|Refinance student loans|
|Fixed||2.59% to 9.15%|
|Variable||1.88% to 8.9%|
|Private student loans|
|Fixed||3.34% to 14.99%|
|Variable||1.04% to 11.99%|
|Federal student loans (fixed)|
|PLUS (Parent, Grad)||6.28%|
Rates updated monthly.
Federal student loan interest rates are increasing for the 2021-22 school year and apply to loans disbursed between July 1, 2021, and July 1, 2022. The interest rates for all new federal direct undergraduate student loans are 3.73%, up from 2.75% in 2020-21. Unsubsidized direct graduate student loan rates are 5.28%, up from 4.30%. Rates for PLUS loans, which are for graduate students and parents, are 6.28%, up from 5.30%.Federal student loan interest rates by year
Federal student loan interest rates by year
To apply for federal student loans, as well as grants and work-study, fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid — this FAFSA guide can help. Any student, regardless of their financial need, typically qualifies for unsubsidized student loans, and students with a financial need may qualify for subsidized loans. Subsidized loans are a better deal because the government pays the interest that accrues while you’re in school.
Federal student loan fees are taken as a percentage of the total loan amount and deducted proportionally from each loan disbursement, meaning you’ll receive slightly less than the amount you borrow.
|Academic year||Undergraduate||Graduate||Parent PLUS, Grad PLUS|
|2021-22||3.73% interest 1.06% fee||5.28% interest 1.06% fee||6.28% interest 4.23% fee|
|2020-21||2.75% interest 1.06% fee||4.30% interest 1.06% fee||5.30% interest 4.24% fee|
|2019-20||4.53% interest 1.06% fee||6.08% interest 1.06% fee||7.08% interest 4.24% fee|
|2018-19||5.05% interest 1.06% fee||6.60% interest 1.06% fee||7.60% interest 4.25% fee|
|2017-18||4.45% interest 1.07% fee||6.00% interest 1.07% fee||7.00% interest 4.26% fee|
|2016-17||3.76% interest 1.07% fee||5.31% interest 1.07% fee||6.31% interest 4.28% fee|
|2015-16||4.29% interest 1.07% fee||5.84% interest 1.07% fee||6.84% interest 4.27% fee|
|2014-15||4.66% interest 1.07% fee||6.21% interest 1.07% fee||7.21% interest 4.29% fee|
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student AidInterest rates effective July 1 of each year. Loan fees effective October 1 of each year.
Private student loan interest rates by lender
It’s generally best to max out your federal student loan options before taking out a private student loan. If you need one, shop around first to ensure you get the lowest rate you qualify for. If you don’t meet a lender’s credit requirements, you can apply with a co-signer who does.
Current private student loan interest rates, updated monthly: