The Federal Student Aid repayment calculator can help you estimate what your repayment options will be once you graduate.
For example, suppose you are starting your graduate education and already have amassed undergraduate student loans with a $250 monthly repayment. You have been offered a $20,500 unsubsidized Stafford loan and want to look into the standard repayment option. Using the repayment calculator, you estimate that your monthly repayment on the $20,500 loan will be $235.91. This amount combined with your undergraduate repayment of $250 totals $485.91. Now, consider the following questions:
- Is this an amount you can realistically repay on a monthly schedule without missing any payments?
- Is this amount more than eight percent of your current income?
- How much do your classes really cost?
These are important factors to consider when deciding the amount you need to borrow. If you suspect you might miss payments or the amount borrowed exceeds eight percent of your income, you may want to reconsider borrowing the entire amount offered to you.
You can see all the Federal Loans you have borrowed to date by visiting the National Student Loan Data System. To view private loans, please contact your private loan lender.
Repayment and Beyond
Failure to make your monthly loan payment can adversely affect your credit history and, in turn, prevent you from borrowing for other reasons in the future. One of your greatest responsibilities as a student loan borrower is making sure you do not go into default. If for any reason you fear you will not be able to make your monthly payment, it is imperative to contact your lender either by phone or through your online account to identify your options. Many lenders will work with you to lower payments temporarily or provide guidance for changing your repayment structure.