Refinancing your student loans can save you money by lowering your interest rate. Plug your loan information into the calculator below to see how much you could save by refinancing.
How to use this calculator
Here’s a guide to the information you’re asked to provide in the calculator. If you’re unsure about any of your current loan details, log into your Federal Student Aid account or ask your federal loan servicer. For private loan questions, check with your lender or servicer.
- Original loan amount: Enter the original amount you borrowed for the loans you want to refinance. You may have a mix of federal and private loans or multiple federal loans disbursed during various semesters. If you want to refinance all your loans, enter the total amount you borrowed. If you only want to refinance some of your loans — for example, your private loans — enter the total amount of those loans.
- Current annual interest rate: If you want to refinance multiple loans that each have different interest rates, you’ll get the most accurate results if you enter the loans separately with each associated rate. For a rough estimate, enter the average interest rate of the loans you want to refinance.
- Original Loan Term: Enter the loan term for the loans you want to refinance. All federal student loans have 10-year terms unless you switched to an extended or income-driven repayment plan, or consolidated your loans. Private loan terms typically range from five to 20 years.
- Balance left on the loan: Enter the total amount you still owe on the loans you want to refinance, including accrued interest. This number could be higher or lower than the amount you originally borrowed, depending on how much interest has accrued and how much you’ve already paid off.
- New loan term: Depending on the refinance lender you go with, you’ll have various term lengths to choose from. Play around with the calculator and notice how term length affects the repayment amount: The shorter your term length is, the higher your new monthly payment will be and the lower your new interest amount will be. Minimizing your interest will save you money in the long run.
- New interest rate: To get a new rate estimate, click on the green “Get personalized refinance estimates” button below. After you get your estimates, plug different rates into the calculator to see how much the various rates could save you. You won’t know your new rate for sure until you apply and get a final offer.
Note: This calculator assumes that after you refinance, you’ll make your minimum monthly payments but not pay extra. Paying more than your monthly minimum will decrease the amount of interest you pay throughout the life of your loan, but it’s smart to pay down high-interest debt and save for retirement first.
Things to know before you refinance
If you have private loans, you have nothing to lose by refinancing. But if you have federal loans, you need to make your refinance decision more deliberately. Once you refinance federal loans, you’re not eligible for federal programs including forgiveness and income-driven repayment plans.
If you decide to refinance, you should compare multiple lenders to see who offers you the best rate.
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Teddy Nykiel is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @teddynykiel.
Updated Sept. 30, 2016.