Are You Taking On Too Much Student Loan Debt?

by Paige Estigarribia
Are You Taking on Too Much Student Loan Debt photo

Whether considering a student loan for yourself, child or grandchild, use this calculator to find out how much is safe to borrow so neither you nor your student end up deep in debt after graduation.

Are you in the process of reviewing and finalizing fall college tuition and student loan documentation whether for yourself or for your child? If so, chances are you might be wondering whether you are taking on too much student loan debt.

Using Bankrate’s Student Loan debt calculator is a fantastic way to figure out how much debt you’ll be taking on, and get you thinking about how much is too much.

So how does the calculator work?

Step 1: Get the Tuition Amount

First, you have to figure out the net price of the tuition. This means that you take the sticker price of the tuition and subtract any scholarships or financial aid from the college. The difference is the net tuition price.

Step 2: Determine the Parents’ Contributions

The school will give you an expected family contribution amount. After receiving this amount, determine how much of it the parents can pay.

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Step 3: Figure up the Amount You’ll be Borrowing

Enter the loan amount, the loan term, and the interest rate to determine how much, including interest, you will need to borrow to cover the remaining cost of tuition.

Step 4: Decide if Your Anticipated Student Debt is Affordable

A good rule of thumb is that your total amount of student loan debt should not exceed a year’s salary, or about 10% of the monthly anticipated income for students.

Step 5: Research Job Options

Before you commit to student debt, do some research on what your potential career position will pay. Find out how much you can expect to bring home in your career after you graduate.

Step 6: Remember To Keep Debt Manageable

Remember that you don’t know how much your first job out of college will pay until you land the job. Try and keep your student loan debt at an affordable level.

Bankrate’s Student Loan debt calculator and these steps will give you a good roadmap for determining how much student loan debt is too much.

Reviewed February 2021

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