Whenever I talk to readers or do a survey, repaying student loans tops people’s priority list. It can feel like it’s difficult to get ahead in life until these big balances are behind us.
Although I don’t always think that you should make extra student loan payments before you start investing for other goals, everybody needs to understand how much student debt you have, what interest rates you’re paying, and how long your debt will take to pay off – with or without extra payments.
Enter Tuition.io, a new free web app that shows all your student loans in one place.
I’m fortunate now that my student loans are paid off, but I played around with a Tuition.io demo account to get a feel for how it works.
First, you add loans. You can add most federal loans and private loans by linking your electronic account, to Tuition.io will automatically pull the latest balances and due dates. Alternately, you can input any loan manually. Once you’ve added your loans, the Tuition.io dashboard displays your loan balances on the left and a variety of information in charts on the right.
Perhaps the most useful feature is the overview graph (shown above) that lets you see how increasing your monthly payment will affect the date you become debt-free and the total interest you’ll pay. (I know I spent hours and hours fiddling with spreadsheets to figure out the same thing.) One limitation I found, however, is the slider only lets you add $1,000 in extra loan payments.
Other widgets show you each loans current balance and percentage paid, interest rates, monthly payments, and a calendar showing all of your loans’ due dates, for which you can set up notifications.
Finally, Tuition.io has other tabs that display repayment options that you may qualify for, from federal entitlement programs like forgiveness for entering certain professionals to private loan consolidation offers.
Tuition.io is a fairly simple Web app – it organizes loan accounts, shows them to you in one place, and lets you play around with different payoff scenarios. It’s free – for now – although with any startup there’s the chance they could move to a fee-based service down the road.
What do you think? Have you tried Tuition.io? What did you think? Otherwise, how do you organize your students loans?