Before refinancing your student loans, use Money Under 30's calculator to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Refinancing a loan — consolidating two or more loans into a single private loan with its own terms and interest rate — can save you a ton of money. Once you sign up for a new loan, your existing loans are paid off and you make payments on the new loan instead.

In addition to simplifying the repayment process, refinancing reduces the total interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan, shrinking your interest APR (annual percentage rate). You can combine both federal and private loans when you refinance.

How the calculator works

Comparing rate estimates side by side is helpful but it doesn’t always show you the full picture, especially if you’re juggling multiple interest rates and term options.

The calculator is designed to give you an objective glance at how each term and interest rate will affect your new loan.

Fields you enter

Current loans

Add the info for up to three current loans, including your balance, interest rate (2% to 9%), and monthly payment.

If you have more than three loans, enter the three with the highest balance. Or if two of your loans have similar interest rates, combine the balances and monthly payments into a single entry.

New loan

  • Term (years) — Lenders generally offer terms between five and 20 years.
  • Interest rate — If you’ve seen estimates and know the interest rate you’re likely to get, enter the info accordingly. If you don’t, compare your results with as many rates as possible. The sliding scale goes from 2% to 9% (the calculator doesn’t let you choose between fixed and variable rates).

Your results

Monthly payment

Here’s where you see your potential monthly payment based on the loan term you select. It may be more or less than what you’re currently paying.

Keep this guideline in mind: your total debt payments (including any other payments you’re making in addition to student loans) shouldn’t exceed 40% of your monthly pre-tax income. Lenders look at your debt-to-income ratio when they’re approving loans.

Read more: How to pay back your student loans

Months remaining

Here you’ll see how much more quickly (or slowly) you’ll pay off your loan if you refinance.

Total interest cost

This field shows how much interest you’ll pay during the life of your current loan — it’s okay if this number shocks you — and the interest you’ll pay during the life of the refinanced loan. The difference will show you how much you can save over time. 

Read more: Should I refinance my student loans?

Summary

Refinancing your student loan can save you money, but before you do so, you’ll want to ensure the terms and interest rates work in your favor. You can use the student loan refinancing calculator to determine whether it’s the right move for you.

Read more:

About the author

Amy Bergen Writer
Total Articles: 100
Amy Bergen is a writer and editor based in Portland, Maine. She's interested in technology, literature, and how the world will change in the future. You can reach Amy on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.