Student Loan Refinance Calculator: Estimate Your Payments – Forbes Advisor
Updated: Jul 13, 2020, 7:13am
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When you refinance student loans, a lender pays off the loans you’ve chosen to refinance and issues a new loan for their total balance, which comes with a different interest rate and repayment term.
The goal of refinancing student loans is to pay a lower interest rate, particularly if your credit score, income and other financial factors qualify you for better loan terms than you originally received. That makes it important to ensure that will save enough money to make refinancing worthwhile.
Use the calculator below to estimate your new monthly payment and interest costs, and to find out how much you could save by refinancing your student loans.
Student Loan Refinance Calculator
This calculator will be most useful if you have already received personalized interest rate estimates from refinance lenders. Many lenders provide estimates without requiring a hard credit check, which could otherwise negatively affect your credit score.
But you can also take a look at current refinance rates and enter an average or likely rate without getting a customized estimate first. Keep in mind that the lowest advertised rates are reserved for customers with the highest credit scores.
Student Loan Refinance Calculator
STEP 1 : Enter your current loan information
STEP 2 : Enter your refinanced loan information
You’ll pay this much more interest
You’ll pay this much more each month
Total Interest Paid
Student Loan Refinance FAQs
Is student loan refinancing right for me?
Consider refinancing your student loans if your financial profile will make you eligible for a lower interest rate than you currently have, and if you’re comfortable with the terms of your new loan. For example, only private companies offer student loan refinancing, so if you refinance federal loans, you’ll lose crucial protections like flexible repayment plans and forgiveness options. If you may use these benefits in the future, refinancing only your private loans may be best. Or, skip refinancing and opt for a different student loan payoff strategy instead.
How do I know if I’ll qualify for student loan refinancing?
Refinance lenders want to make sure that you will consistently make payments on time. That means they generally require good or excellent credit, meaning a credit score in the upper 600’s or higher, plus stable income and a low amount of total debt relative to your income. Specific requirements vary by lender. If you don’t qualify on your own, you can use a co-signer to gain eligibility or to get a lower interest rate than you would have otherwise.
How do I evaluate student loan refinance offers?
To access the most favorable rates and terms on a new student loan, compare offers from multiple lenders. That means looking not only at the interest rate you receive, but how many years you’ll take to pay off the loan, your monthly payment and any fees required. While it may be tempting to opt for the lowest monthly payment available, you’ll typically pay more in interest over time that way, which will cut into the savings from your new, lower interest rate.
Should I choose a fixed or variable interest rate?
When you refinance student loans, you’ll generally have the option to choose a fixed or variable interest rate. A fixed rate doesn’t change throughout the repayment period, while a variable rate is tied to an index like the Prime rate or LIBOR and changes with market fluctuations. Fixed rates are usually a better bet during periods when interest rates are low across the board, since you’ll lock in a low rate now that won’t increase over time.
What are my options if I’m not eligible to refinance student loans?
Many borrowers won’t qualify for student loan refinancing or will decide it’s not the best fit for them. In that case, the alternatives depend on your goals. If you need a lower payment because your loans are unaffordable, refinancing often isn’t ideal. Instead, consider an income-driven repayment plan for federal loans, which calculates payments based on monthly discretionary income. Or contact your private lender to learn more about forbearance options, which let you pause payments, or an interest rate or monthly payment reduction for a period of time.
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Brianna McGurran is the Loans Analyst for Forbes Advisor. Most recently, she was a staff writer and spokesperson at NerdWallet, where she wrote “Ask Brianna,” a financial advice column syndicated by the Associated Press. As spokesperson, she also contributed her expertise to outlets including The New York Times, ABC World News Tonight and the Today Show.
First Published: Jul 13, 2020, 12:48pm
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