Student Loan Origination Fees: Calculate Your APR

An APR calculator allows you to compare loan offers with fees.

NerdWalletOctober 21, 2020
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If you are comparing loan offers, you'll want to compare annual percentage rate (APR) rather than interest rate alone.

APR looks at all the costs associated with your loan, including origination, broker, legal and application fees. Many lenders don't charge any fees at all, but many do. The cheapest option may well involve a fee.

An origination fee may be added to a loan's balance or deducted from the loan proceeds. The calculator deducts the origination fee from the amount borrowed, as is customary with most student loans, personal loans and small business loans.

For example, Lender A offers a no-fee 10-year student loan for $20,000 at 5%. Lender B offers a $20,000 loan at 4.5% but charges a 5% origination fee. Which is cheaper?

Loan A

Loan B

Interest rate

5%

4.5%

Loan amount

$20,000

$20,000

Origination fee

None

5%

Net proceeds

$20,000

$19,000

120 payments of

$212.13

$207.28

Total interest

$5,455

$4,873

Total fees

$0

$1,000

Total cost

$5,455

$5,873

APR

5%

5.61%

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