3 Tips For Using A Student Loan Calculator

Using a student loan calculator can help you take the guess work out of your monthly payments. If you are considering paying the loan off early you can use the calculator to find the payoff balance. It sounds simple enough, but there are a few things you want to keep in mind when using these tools. Here are a couple tips to help you determine your payments or payoff more accurately.

How to Use a Student Loan Calculator

Know The Loan Terms

A student loan calculator isn’t going to offer any accuracy if you don’t know the terms of the loan. If you have a 10 year loan and have already paid for 5 years, this needs to be entered in to the calculator. This is the only way to accurately find the projected payments.

Know the Minimum Payments

Many loan programs have minimum payments that must be met each month. Unless you enter this in to the loan calculator it won’t be able to give you reliable results. It’s not uncommon towards the end of a loan term for the minimum payment to be more than the online calculator tools estimate. If you enter the minimum payment the tool can compensate for this.

Specialized Tools

Some loan programs are too complicated for a simple student loan calculator to break down. For instance, if you have a graduated repayment term in the loan you may need to find a more specialized calculator. Since these plans allow you to repay smaller amounts in the beginning, then increase the amount over time, you will need to know the discount rates involved. Income contingent repayment loans will also require a more specialized tool. For these loans you will need to know your current income, your projected income, as well as level change rates that may be stated in the loan. You can find online tools for these types of loans, but you need to have more information to feed in to them. It will always be in your interest to use a student loan calculator.

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