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You can estimate how long it will take to pay off the total cost of your loan using our student loan repayment calculator. First, enter your current loan information. Then, use the slider to see how increased monthly payments can decrease the total cost of your loan.

Enter loan information

? Enter the remaining balance of your loans $
? Enter the average annual interest rate of your loans %
? Enter the amount of time left to repay your loan years

+ $0
Total Payment $
Total Interest $
Monthly Payment $

If you increase your payments by $ monthly on your $ loan at %, you will pay $ a month and pay off your loan by Jan 2021.


Does refinancing make sense for you?
Compare offers from top refinancing lenders to determine your actual savings.

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Checking rates won’t affect your credit score.

How do you calculate monthly payments on student loans?

Your monthly payments depend on several factors, including the interest rate on your loans, your loan term, and your principal loan balance.

Some repayment plans also have fixed monthly payments — for example, the minimum payment for most federal student loans on the standard repayment plan is typically $50 per month.

Keep in mind that if you sign up for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan, your monthly payments will also be based on your discretionary income.

Tip: If you can afford it, it’s often a good idea to pay more than your required minimum payment. This could help you pay off your debt faster and save you money on interest charges.

Frequently asked questions about student loan repayment

Here are answers to several commonly asked questions about student loan repayment:

How long is the grace period on student loans?

Depending on what type of loans you have, you might not have to start making payments until six months or more after graduation — this is known as a grace period.

Here’s the grace period you can expect for a few types of student loans:

  • Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans: Six months
  • Grad PLUS Loans: No grace period (might be able to defer payments until after graduation)
  • Parent PLUS Loans: No grace period (might be able to defer payments until after your child’s graduation)
  • Private student loans: Depends on the lender (many lenders offer six-month grace periods)
Keep in mind: Unless you have subsidized loans, student loans begin accruing interest as soon as you take them out. This means most loans will accrue interest during grace periods.

If you have private student loans, you might have to make payments while you’re in school. Be sure to review your loan agreement to see when your payments will begin.

See: What Is a Student Loan Grace Period?

How do you change student loan repayment plans?

There are several federal student loan repayment options in addition to the standard repayment plan, including graduated repayment plans, extended repayment plans, and IDR plans.

If you want to change your federal student loan repayment plan, contact your loan servicer. You might also be able to apply for a new repayment plan online.

There are generally fewer private student loan repayment options, and available repayment plans will depend on your lender. You can typically only change your repayment plan by refinancing your private student loans.

Check Out: When to Refinance Student Loans

What repayment plan qualifies for student loan forgiveness?

Some federal student loan forgiveness programs require you to make payments under an eligible repayment plan.

For example, to potentially qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you’ll need to work for 10 years at a government or nonprofit agency while making qualifying payments under an IDR plan.

You could also qualify for loan forgiveness under an IDR plan itself. Depending on the plan, your loans could be forgiven after 20 to 25 years of payments. There are four plans to choose from:

Keep in mind: Unfortunately, private student loan forgiveness doesn’t exist. However, there are other options to streamline your repayment, such as student loan refinancing.

How can you lower your monthly student loan payments?

There are several ways to potentially lower your student loan payments. A few of these strategies include:

  • Signing up for an income-driven repayment plan: If you have federal student loans, you might be able to sign up for one of the four IDR plans. Under an IDR plan, your payments are based on your discretionary income, which might reduce your monthly payment amount — even to $0 in some cases.
  • Consolidating your loans: You can consolidate multiple federal student loans with a Direct Consolidation Loan. With this type of loan, you can extend your repayment term up to 30 years, which could lower your payments. Just remember that the longer your repayment term, the more you’ll pay in interest over time.
  • Refinancing your debt: If you refinance your student loans, you might qualify for a lower interest rate. Or you could choose to extend your repayment term. Either scenario might get you a lower monthly payment. Keep in mind that while you can refinance federal student loans, you’ll lose your federal benefits and protections, including access to IDR plans and student loan forgiveness programs.
Tip: If you’re struggling to afford your payments, be sure to contact your servicer or lender to see what student loan help might be available to you.

If you decide to refinance your student loans, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes.

LenderFixed rates from (APR)Variable rates from (APR)Loan terms (years)Loan amountsMin. credit score
advantage education loan consolidation4.54%+N/A10, 15, 20$7,500 up to $200,000
(larger balances require special approval)
Does not disclose
brazos student loan refinancing2.95%+1.89%+5, 7, 10, 15, 20$10,000 up to $250,000
(depending on degree)
690
citizens bank student loans2.97%+¹ 2.24%+¹5, 7, 10, 15, 20$10,000 to $500,000
(depending on degree and loan type)
Does not disclose
college ave student loans3.34%+23.24%+25, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20$5,000 to $300,000
(depending on degree type)
Does not disclose
elfi student loans2.58%+32.39%+35, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20Minimum of $15,000680
mefa refinancing3.47%+42.46%+45, 10, 15, 20$5,000 to $250,000670
invested refinancing3.05%+3.05%+7, 10, 15$10,000 up to the total amount of qualified education debt670
penfed purefy student loan consolidation2.89%+2.15%+5, 8, 12, 15$7,500 to $300,000670
rhode island student loan authority refinancing3.19%+N/A5, 10, 15$7,500 up to $250,000
(depending on highest degree earned)
680
sofi refinancing2.99%+63.10%+65, 7, 10, 15, 20$5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loansDoes not disclose
Compare personalized rates from multiple lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!

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All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 5Iowa Student Loan Disclosures | 6SoFi Disclosures

What’s the difference between student loan refinancing and student loan consolidation?

Student loan refinancing and student loan consolidation are both ways to combine student loans. However, they mean something different for federal and private student loans. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Federal student loan consolidation: The only way to combine federal student loans is through a Direct Consolidation Loan. The interest rate on the new loan will be based on the weighted average of your current loans. Plus, you’ll have the option to extend your repayment term up to 30 years.
  • Private student loan refinancing: When it comes to private student loans, consolidation is just another term for refinancing. If you refinance your student loans, your old loans will be replaced with one new loan through a private lender. If you refinance, you might get a lower interest rate. You’ll also have the option to shorten or extend your repayment term.
Remember: Federal student loans can be refinanced into a private loan, too. But refinancing federal student loans will also cost you your federal benefits and protections, like loan forgiveness and alternative repayment plans.

Learn More: Student Loan Consolidation vs. Student Loan Refinancing

How do I pay off $50k in student loans?

There are several potential ways to pay off $50,000 in student loans. A couple of options include:

  • Debt avalanche method: With this approach, you’ll make extra payments toward your loans with the highest interest rate. This will likely save you money on interest charges and could help you pay off your loans faster.
  • Student loan refinancing: If you refinance your student loans, you might be able to lower your interest rate. Getting a reduced rate for $50,000 in student loans could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest over time — making it easier to pay off your loans.

If you decide to refinance, remember to shop around and compare as many lenders as you can to find a loan that fits your needs. Credible makes this easy — you can see your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.

Find out if refinancing is right for you

  • Compare actual rates, not ballpark estimates – Unlock rates from multiple lenders in about 2 minutes
  • Won’t impact credit score – Checking rates on Credible won’t impact your credit score
  • Data privacy – We don’t sell your information, so you won’t get calls or emails from multiple lenders

See Your Refinancing Options
Credible is 100% free!

How long does it take to pay off $100,000 in student loans?

How long it will take to pay off $100,000 in student loans will mainly depend on your repayment plan and strategy.

For example, if you have federal student loans, you’ll have 10 years under the standard repayment plan, while you could have up to 30 years if you consolidate with a Direct Consolidation Loan.

You could also refinance federal or private student loans and opt for a longer or shorter repayment term. It’s usually a good idea to choose the shortest term with a payment you can afford to save the most on interest.

Tip: If you have $100,000 in student loans, it will likely take you 10 to 30 years to pay off your loans. But using strategies such as refinancing or the debt avalanche method could help you repay your loans faster.

How can I pay off $200k in student loans?

If you’re looking to pay off $200,000 in student loans, the optimal way to repay the debt mainly depends on the type of loans you have.

  • If you have federal student loans, be sure to consider all of your repayment options. For example, you could be eligible for an IDR plan to help you manage your payments. Or you might qualify to have some or all of your student loans forgiven through programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Your loan servicer can help you explore what options are available to you.
  • If you have private student loans, you could consider refinancing, especially if you can reduce the interest rate on any of your loans. You can use our student loan refinancing calculator below to see how much you can save by refinancing your student loans.

Step 1. Enter your loan balance

? Enter the remaining amount of the loans you’d like to refinance $

Step 2. Enter current loan information

? Enter the average annual interest rate of the loans you’d like to refinance %
? Enter the monthly amount you currently pay on your loans (or enter remaining term) $
? Enter the amount of time left to repay your loan (or enter monthly payment) years

Step 3. Enter your new loan information to start calculating your savings

? Enter an estimated new interest rate. %
? Enter the monthly amount to pay on your new loan (or enter new loan term) $
? Enter the amount of time you have to repay your loan (or enter monthly payment) years
Lifetime Savings Increased Lifetime Cost $
New Monthly Payment $
Monthly Savings Increased Monthly Cost $

If you refinance your student loan at % interest rate, you can save will pay an additional $ monthly and pay off your loan by . The total cost of the new loan will be $.


Does refinancing make sense for you?
Compare offers from top refinancing lenders to determine your actual savings.

Check Personalized Rates

Checking rates won’t affect your credit score.


How can you pay off student loans faster?

Here are a few ways that might help you pay off your loans faster:

  • Pay extra on your loans. If you can afford it, make extra payments toward your loans. This could save you money on interest and cut down your repayment time.
  • Refinance your loans. This could get you a lower interest rate. If you also choose to shorten your loan term, you could pay off your loans more quickly with fewer interest charges.

Can you claim student loans on taxes?

If you made payments toward interest on your student loans, you might be able to claim the student loan interest tax deduction. You can deduct $2,500 or the amount of interest you paid during the tax year, whichever is less.

Tip: On top of claiming whatever tax deductions you’re eligible for, refinancing your student loans could also help you keep more money in your pocket — especially if you can reduce your student loan interest rate.

If you decide to refinance, remember to research and compare as many lenders as possible. This way, you can find a loan that best suits your needs. Credible makes this easy — you can compare your prequalified rates from multiple lenders in two minutes.


Rates displayed include Automatic Payment and Loyalty Discounts, where applicable. Note that such discounts do not apply while loans are in deferment. The lenders on the Credible.com platform offer fixed rates ranging from 3.34% - 14.50% APR and Variable interest rates from 1.04% - 13.19% APR. Variable rates will fluctuate over the term of the borrower's loan with changes in the LIBOR rate. Rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Your actual rate may be different from the rates advertised and/or shown above and will be based on factors such as the term of your loan, your financial history (including your cosigner's (if any) financial history) and the degree you are in the process of achieving or have achieved. While not always the case, lower rates typically require creditworthy applicants with creditworthy co-signers, graduate degrees, and shorter repayment terms (terms vary by lender and can range from 5-20 years) and include Automatic Payment and Loyalty discounts, where applicable. Loyalty and Automatic Payment discount requirements as well as Lender terms and conditions will vary by lender and therefore, reading each lender's disclosures is important. Additionally, lenders may have loan minimum and maximum requirements, degree requirements, educational institution requirements, citizenship and residency requirements as well as other lender-specific requirements.

About the author
Kat Tretina
Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina is a contributor to Credible who covers everything from student loans to personal loans to mortgages. Her work has appeared in publications like the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, MarketWatch, Business Insider, and more.

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