Student Loan Calculator

Calculate the monthly payment for a student loan and see the total interest paid on the loan over time using our student loan calculator below.


Monthly Payment:


Total Interest:
Total Payments:
This calculation is based on widely-accepted formulas for educational purposes only - this is not a recommendation for how to handle your finances, and it is not an offer to lend. Consult with a financial professional before making financial decisions.
Learn how we calculated this below

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How to Calculate a Student Loan Payment

Student loans are a specific type of loan that individuals can use to finance their college education. These loans can be easier to qualify for than other types of loans, and the payments usually do not start until an individual has completed their education.

Use the calculator above to calculate the loan payment and get a useful amortization schedule, which shows the portion of the monthly payment that is paid towards principal and interest and the remaining loan balance each month.

You can also calculate the monthly payment for student loans the same way as other types of loans.

Loan Payment Formula

The loan payment formula can be found here:

PMT = \frac{r \times PV}{1 − \left (1 + r \right )^{-n}}

PMT = payment
r = periodic interest rate
n = number of payments

For example, let’s say you plan on taking a $25,000 student loan at 8% interest for 10 years. If you input these amounts into the calculator above, the monthly payment is $303.32.

We can now put the numbers into the formula to confirm. Before we do, we need to alter the numbers so they can work with the formula. The interest rate needs to be a monthly interest rate, so we would use 0.6667% (8% interest rate/12 months).

The number of payments will be 120, since we plan on making a payment each month for 10 years.

PMT = \frac{0.006667 \times \$25,000}{1 − \left (1 + 0.006667 \right )^{-120}}
PMT = \frac{\$166.67}{1 − 1.006667^{-120}}
PMT = \frac{\$166.67}{1 − 0.4505}
PMT = \frac{\$166.67}{0.5495}
PMT = \$303.32

Individuals can also pay extra each month in order to reduce the time taken to pay back the loan.

For example, if the individual wanted to pay $400 per month instead of $303.32, the loan would be paid off in under 7 years. You can also use our student loan payoff and loan payoff calculators to calculate the payoff time using different monthly payment amounts.

How to Calculate Student Loan Interest

The formula to calculate each month’s interest payment is as follows:

INT = r \times PV

INT = interest payment
r = periodic interest rate
PV = remaining principal balance

For example, let’s look at the interest payment for the third month of this example. The student loan calculator computes an interest payment of $164.84 (you can find this in the amortization schedule under the “advanced” tab of the calculator).

This is calculated by taking the previous balance of $24,725.79 and multiplying it by the periodic interest rate of 0.6667%.

INT = 0.006667 \times \$24,725.79
INT = \$164.84

The total interest paid over the life of the loan is then calculated by adding together all of the interest payments. In this example, the total interest is $11,398.20. This means that over the 10 years of payments, the total amount paid will be $36,398.20 ($25,000 + $11,398.20).

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of student loans are there?

There are many different ways a student can borrow money for college, but the most common forms of student loans are private student loans and federal student loans.

Private student loans are those that an individual borrows from financial institutions, such as a bank or credit union. These loans are ideal for someone who would prefer not to borrow from the federal government or who’d rather borrow with their bank or credit union of choice.

Private student loans do come with a cost, though. They tend to have higher interest rates and are usually harder to get than federal student loans. Private student loans typically require a cosigner as well.

Federal student loans are loans that individuals borrow directly from the federal government. Federal student loans are a good option because they usually have lower interest rates and may not require a cosigner.

There are several different types of federal student loans, such as Direct Subsidized Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans. It is best to research each type of federal and/or private student loan to see which is best for your circumstances.

How much student loans can you borrow?

Student loan limits vary by type. With private student loans, financial institutions typically won’t lend you more than $120,000 if you are an undergraduate. Graduate students are capped at $300,000.

For federal student loans, it depends on the specific type of federal loan and what year of school you are in. The range is between $5,500 – $7,500 per year for dependent students and $9,500 – $12,500 per year for independent students.

The total limit is $31,000 for dependent undergraduate students and $57,500 for independent undergraduate students. The maximum for graduate students is $138,500.

Even though the government or bank will lend you the money, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should borrow it. It is important to use the Student Loan calculator to see what the monthly payment will be and make sure that you can afford the payments once you graduate.

Why is it so hard to pay off student loans?

Student loans can be difficult to pay off for various reasons. One reason is due to capitalized interest. This means that interest may accrue before a student starts paying on the loan. This interest is then capitalized, or added to the principal balance, when the student starts repaying the loan.

Interest is then charged on top of that previous interest accrued, resulting in very high student loan balances that are difficult to pay off.

Another reason why student loans may be hard to pay off is due to income-driven repayment plans. This means that a student’s payment is proportional to their income. If their payment is not high enough to cover the monthly interest accruing, it will be difficult to pay down the principal loan balance.

Can you use student loans for anything?

No, student loans cannot be used for anything. Most lenders will tell the borrower what expenses student loans can be used for. Common expenses include tuition, room and board, books, supplies, transportation, and child care expenses.

How do people avoid paying student loans?

There are a few common ways people avoid repaying student loans. There are various forgiveness plans for different career paths, such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, that students can apply for upon starting their career after college.