How to Calculate a Student Loan Payment

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Calculate your student loan payments.
Calculate your student loan payments. (Image: Calculator image by Alhazm Salemi from Fotolia.com)

The cost of education is constantly increasing. Due to these increased costs, more and more students are relying on student loans to pay for their education. The government runs several student loan programs. The most prevalent is the Stafford loans. Stafford loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. With subsidized loans, the loans do not accrue interest until they are in payment. Even with these programs, most students want to know the bottom line of how much will they need to pay each month.

Divide the interest rate by 12 to determine the interest rate per month. For example, a student takes out a $15,000 loan with 6.8 percent interest. The monthly interest rate is 0.00567 (0.068 divided by 12).

Add 1 to the interest per month, then raise the answer by the power of the negative amount of total payments. To payoff the loan in the example in 10 years, there would be 120 payments. In the example, you add 1 to 0.00567, which equals 1.00567, then you raise 1.00567 by the power of -120, which equals 0.50739.

Subtract one from the number calculated in Step 2. In the example, one minus 0.50739, which equals 0.49261.

Multiply the loan amount by the interest rate per month. In the example, $15,000 multiplied by 0.00567 equals 85.05.

Divide the number calculated in Step 4 by the number calculated in Step 3. In the example, divide 85.05 by 0.49261, which equals $172.66 per month. This is the amount you would pay each month to pay off the loan in 10 years.

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