Challenge Week 4: Understand Your Student Loan Payment | $tart with Change

Challenge Week 4: Understand Your Student Loan Payment

Use this student loan payment calculator to estimate your monthly student loan payments.

Remember, this is only an estimate to give you some idea of what your monthly payment might be once you have completed your college education.  Also, most student loans require a minimum monthly payment no matter the size of the loan, so be sure to check with your lender.

In addition, it’s a good idea to compare your monthly student loan payments to your expected starting  salary when all your hard work pays off with a degree!  You’ll want to keep your loan payment to less than 10 percent of your monthly salary in order to comfortably afford them.  Here is a link to some good information from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics on wages by occupationYou can search nationally or by specific state.  It may take a few clicks but once you find the annual wages as for the job you think you might qualify for (the 10th percentile is a good proxy for starting salary), simply divide by 12 to get the monthly rate and multiply by 10%.  For example, an event and meeting planner might expect a starting salary of about $25,000, or $2,084 per month.  Ten percent of that monthly total is $208, so you’ll want to keep your expected loan payments at or below this level.

And most important, don’t forget to post a comment about what you learned right here on $tartwithChange to be entered for a chance to win a $25 iTunes card!

What Should I Know About Student Loans?

  • If you take out a student loan, your school is required to provide you with both Entrance and Exit Counseling so you understand the loan terms and your rights and responsibilities.
  • Student loans must be repaid, even if you do not finish your degree, are unable to find a job or are not satisfied with your education.
  • Think carefully about much you borrow to attend college.  The amount of money you owe may affect your lifestyle after your leave school.
  • Your actual monthly loan payment is determined by the loan holder.
  • Most private loans are credit-based loans and the interest you pay is based on how good your credit is; the better your credit, the lower your interest rate.
  • Always make your loan payments on time.
  • There are several federal loan forgiveness and income-contingent programs available which you may be eligible for.
  • For additional information about these and student loans in general, visit


*Details and official rules here

Student Loan Calculator

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 8:41 am 4 comments

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  1. Shane Says:
    April 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Great tool! Thanks for offering so many different tools, links and helpful information. I’ve learned so much using this site!

  2. heatheramon1 Says:
    April 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I have learned so much from these 4 wks. It is so hard to be a student, mom and wife with the amount of time but having an idea of loan payments and how much I can earn when I am able to start saving has been great. Thanks Higher One.

  3. docplove Says:
    April 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

    Student loans are very costly, especially in interest. I have 2 loans right now which is about to become 3 or maybe even 4. My goal was to have them paid off before I graduated, but i see that it will not happen that way because it is a lot of money to pay off. So I have to keep saving NOW to at least be able to put down a down payment on them so I won’t have a lot to pay back later. I am glad I have 6 months grace so I better use that time wisely. Thanks for providing this tool!

  4. misty Says:
    April 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Timely information for new students.


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