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Using a student loan calculator


Students use a student loan calculator to calculate monthly loan payments and how much they can save on interest by paying a little extra each month.

Big idea

The total amount you’ll end up paying for a student loan is determined by a combination of the loan principal, the interest rate, and your monthly payment amount.

Essential questions

  • How does a student loan get repaid?
  • What can you do to reduce the total amount you have to pay back for a student loan?


  • Use loan data to calculate the monthly payment, total interest paid, and total amount paid for a student loan
  • Understand how paying more than the minimum payments can reduce the total cost of the loan

What students will do

  • Use an online calculator to determine how much the monthly payments for federal student loans would be for a recent graduate described in a scenario.
  • Explore how paying extra on a loan can reduce the loan’s total cost.
  • Reflect on what they learned about repaying student loans.

Download activity

Teacher guide

Using a student loan calculator (guide)

Student materials

Using a student loan calculator (worksheet)

Note: Please remember to consider your students’ accommodations and special needs to ensure that all students are able to participate in a meaningful way.

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