October 15, 2019

How Much Will My Student Loan Payments Be?

Read more about Student Loans

The average student loan debt in the U.S. is around $35,000. But the type of loan, interest rate, and other factors will determine how much they'll actually cost. Keep reading for an estimate of how much you can expect to pay each month.

© CreditDonkey

Standard Repayment Plan

Standard repayment plans cover a range of student loan scenarios, such as federal student loans, unsubsidized graduate loans, and Direct PLUS loans.

However, these plans all start with a minimum payment of $50.00 and a 120-month (10-year) repayment period.

Keep reading to see just how much you'll pay.

Federal Direct Student Loan

The average interest rate federal Direct student loan is 4.5%. At 4.5% interest, here's how much you'll pay for:

Loan AmountRepayment PlanAverage Monthly Payment
$30,00010 Years$311
$60,00010 Years$622
$70,00010 Years$725
$100,00010 Years$1,036

Interest rates can make a huge difference over the life of your loan. With a 120-month repayment period for a loan debt of $70,000, you'll pay:

$17,056 in interest with a 4.5% rate
$20,125 in interest with a 5.25% rate

That's $3,069 more in interest alone over the life of the loan.

UNSUBSIDIZED GRADUATE STUDENT LOAN

An unsubsidized loan begins to accrue interest the day the loan is made. This means interest is charged during all phases of the student loan, including in-school periods and grace periods, as well as during deferment and forbearance periods.

The average interest rate is 6.0% for an unsubsidized graduate student loan. At 6.0% interest, here's how much you'll pay for:

Loan AmountRepayment PlanAverage Monthly Payment
$30,00010 Years$333
$60,00010 Years$666
$70,00010 Years$777
$100,00010 Years$1,110

When calculating repayment amounts for any student loan, outstanding accrued interest must be included in the equation. For example:

The principal balance on loan is $30,000

The outstanding interest is $984

Calculate payments based on sum of principal balance + outstanding interest = $30,984

Notice the difference in monthly payment calculation with/without outstanding interest of $984:

  • Monthly payments for $30,000 loans at 6.0% interest rate are $333
  • Monthly payments for $30,984 loans at 6.0% interest rate are $344

DIRECT PLUS UNSUBSIDIZED STUDENT LOANS

Direct PLUS unsubsidized student loans are for the parents of students or for graduate professional students. The average interest rate is 7.0%.

At that rate, here's how much you'll pay for:

Loan AmountRepayment Plan YearsAverage Monthly Payment
$30,00010 Years$348
$60,00010 Years$697
$70,00010 Years$813
$100,00010 Years$1,161

INCOME-BASED REPAYMENT PLAN

© CreditDonkey

If you have Federal Direct Loans or Federal Family Education Loans (Stafford, Federal PLUS Loans, and Federal Consolidation Loans), you may qualify for an income-based repayment plan.

Your monthly repayment amount on an income-based repayment plan is calculated based on a percentage of your discretionary income plus an average weighted interest rate. That means the cost may fluctuate over the life of your loan.

Here's an estimate based on a family size of one with a $30,000 loan on a 25-year repayment term:

Since income-based repayment plans are not based on how much you owe, the monthly payment calculations remain the same for student loans with $60,000, $70,000, and $100,000 principal balances.

  • Interest Rate 5.7%, Discretionary Income $25,000
    You may qualify for an income-based monthly repayment amount of $86. The total balance paid over the life of the loan is $55,272.

  • Interest Rate 5.7%, Discretionary Income $30,000
    You may qualify for an income-based monthly repayment amount of $149. The total balance paid over the life of the loan is $68,244.

The remaining balance on a student loan is forgiven after 25 years of payments on income-driven plans. That means income has a drastic impact with these types of loans—you'll pay $63 more a month in the second example—or $12,972 more over the full course of the loan.

Bottom Line

Interest rates have a big impact on your student loans. Whether you are looking at standard repayment or repayment options that may include refinancing, remember to shop for the lowest rate to ensure you pay less over the life of your student loans.

More from CreditDonkey:


Best Student Loan Refinance


How Do Student Loans Work


Pay Off Student Loans Fast

More Articles in Money Tips

Student Loans

Do Student Loans Affect Credit

Student loans will affect your credit score. But that's not always a bad thing. Read on to learn the positive and negative ways that student loans can impact your credit.

December
09
2019

Credit Card Reader

Credit card machines will keep your business running smoothly. But they aren't all created equal. Read on to learn about the different types and the best machine for your needs.
More Articles in Money Tips







About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a student loan comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.