Sad commentary on my professional life… I get excited (okay maybe even “giddy”) every time I discover a new online calculator that helps make loan repayment more understandable and easy. I collect calculators like other people collect coins, stamps or sports memorabilia. But the good news is that I am now prepared to share the most price pieces of my “loan repayment calculator” collection with you.
Here are some frequently asked questions or scenarios related to loan repayment and the links to online calculators that will help “estimate” an answer for you. My one disclaimer … some of the sites are specific to individual companies or private enterprises . I am in no way endorsing these sites or companies above any other competing sites and companies. I have just found the links below to be very useful in lifting the “veil of secrecy” from loan repayment. Of course the most effective way to use these calculators is to also schedule an individual loan repayment counseling session with our office!
How much will I pay in loan repayment?
For Federal loans:
Federal Repayment Estimator Access Group Loan Calculator–
Access Group Loan Manager
For Private loans:
Wells Fargo Private Student Loan Calculator
Will I pay less if I consolidate?
Direct Loans Consolidation Calculator
FinAid Comparative Consolidation Calculator
Will I pay less if I refinance?
Citizens Bank Refinancing Calculator-
Student Loan Hero Refinancing Calculator–
How much interest will accrue if I take a deferment?
Nelnet “Cost of Postponing Your Payments” calculator
Student Loan Hero Deferment Calculator-
Will I earn enough to make my loan payments?
Paycheck City-Paycheck Calculator
Mapping Your Future Debt/Salary Wizard-
Studentloans.gov Financial Aid Counseling Tool–
iGrad “Will I Be Able to Pay Back My Student Loans” calculator –
How much in addition to my monthly payment would I need to pay to pay off my loans in “X” years?
Student Loan Hero Prepayment Calculator-
Bankrate Loan Calculator and Amortization–
What would my loan balance be after making “X” number of payments?
DinkyTown Amortizing Loan Calculator –
Should I pay off my student loans or invest?
Student Loan Hero- Payoff VS Invest Calculator–
iGrad Pay Down Debt or Invest Calculator –
So Class of 2018… here is the reality – your new permanent address here in New Haven is 127 Wall Street. That’s where you will be spending the majority of your days and nights. That apartment that you probably just dropped a hefty security deposit on is solely where you store your stuff and sleep.
Given that… there is no real reason to spend your already challenging student budget on furnished said apartment in any type of lavish style. There are ways to get all the essential furniture you need and still save money
IKEA (located on Sargent Drive in the Long Wharf section) – is probably the go to New Haven “student friendly” destination for inexpensive and yet new furniture. The biggest time constraint with IKEA is not winding your way through the labyrinths of their massive store (following their mandated yellow line so that you have to walk through each and every department) but the time you will need in actually putting together the furniture which all comes unassembled with no written instructions (just pictures) and you r only tool is the 4 inch allen wrench supplied with each purchase. There is a reason why IKEA sells a larger $7.99 tool kit close to the checkout counters- invest in that! My favorite spot in IKEA is actually the “As Is” department which is tucked to the far left of the checkout area. Here you can find significantly reduced display models or slightly damaged furniture and the best part… it’s all pre- assembled!! No room to fit that purchase in your car? – IKEA also allows you to rent trucks on a daily basis to bring the purchase home. Another budget item related to IKEA- great inexpensive meals in their restaurant – the signature dish being their Swedish meatballs with ligonberry sauce.
My other favorite budget furniture place is Universal Hotel Liquidators (UHL) located on Rt. 1 in West Haven. Consider the concept… who changes furniture the most often… hotels who are constantly updating their rooms. UHL recognized that and the fact that this furniture for the most part is relatively gently used and as such very resellable. . Think of it as a “green effort” to recycle furniture that still has a lot of life span left. It’s an enormous warehouse where you can literally find any type of furniture here that you would find anywhere in a hotel. From the traditional bed sets, desks, and armchairs to ice buckets, luggage racks and wet bars. And usually it’s not just one of any given item but sometimes 30 that all came out of the same hotel (so you get to choose which one of the 30 is in the best condition). Part of the adventure is looking for the identification found somewhere on the piece which tells what hotel it came from – bonus points if you find anything from the Waldorf Astoria. Hotel Liquidators will also deliver furniture for a small charge.
For those with a sense of adventure there is always the tag sale/estate sale circuit. You can find a listing of area weekend sales in the classified of the New Haven register each week (paper version or online) . If you have a car and can get out to the New Haven suburbs (Orange, Woodbridge, West Haven) it’s usually some pretty good pickings.
But why listen to me when he real source of interior design on a budget has to be our own rising 2Ls and 3Ls who shared these tips:
- “I strongly recommend furniture shopping at thrift stores, though you may want to reserve this for non-upholstered items like tables, desks, and dining chairs. My favorites in the area are Savers and Helping Hands Community Thrift Store (which, as a bonus, has a student discount!). “ [Note- you can find Savers, Helping Hands , the Goodwill Store as well as several private consignment shops all on the Route 1 Boston Post Road strip in Orange].
- Look for furniture on Craigslist — many of the posts in New Haven are Yale students (sometimes even YLS students!) trying to get rid of their furniture before they move apartments or before new roommates move in, and you will often get furniture at a substantial discount.”
- “If you can wait to purchase some furniture (or if you are looking to purchase furniture before moving into another apartment before your 2L or 3L year), watch for posts by graduating and moving YLS students looking to get rid of furniture. Many of them will be giving away furniture (and much more — casebooks, dishware, coffeemakers and other appliances, etc. — the list goes on!) for free or very cheap at the end of the year and you can get a lot of what you need then if you are free to pick up the stuff then. “
- “The Yale Free & For Sale Facebook group is a great place to get affordable furniture and household goods from other students”
So with these suggestions, keep in mind that your New Haven home is still a temporary address. Really assess what critical furnishings you need to be relatively comfortable over what will be three short years and don’t let your budget fall flat over the allure of that flat screen television.
It’s nice to be ahead of curve, lead the pack, whatever euphemism you want to use. It’s also great to receive proof that what you are doing is the right approach. And that’s what happened to us when TG (a nonprofit promoting education access) in cooperation with the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators released a report last month entitled INFORMED OR OVERWHELMED? A Legislative History of Student Loan Counseling with a Literature Review on the Efficacy of Loan Counseling
What that report validated for YLS was that our approach to loan counseling is on target. Because the report concluded that in loan counseling “personalized information appears to contribute to a better understanding of information, and face-to-face counseling may be the best way to deliver this personalized information. Both students and financial aid administrators believe that some personalization, preferably face-to-face, is needed for comprehension”.
We began offering personalized loan counseling sessions to our 3Ls three years ago because we recognized that it had become increasingly challenging to navigate the “ever changing” student loan repayment landscape. We also believed that, as an institution, we had an obligation to insure that our students made the best short term and long term decisions incorporating their loan debt into their larger financial planning.
The bottom line which underscores the need for individualized loan counseling is this… everyone’s total loan debt is different, everyone’s career path is different and, as such, everyone’s loan repayment is different. (Let’s also add that based on all those factors everyone’s COAP eligibility is also different.)
There is no effective “one size fits all” loan counseling model. Yet so many schools simply default to having their students complete a generic “on line exit interview” required by federal regulations to get their loan repayment information. We still have our students do the online exit (so that we are in federal compliance) but also take it one step further with our one on one sessions.
The sessions we offer are all about developing a personalized loan repayment plan for you. In these one hour (or so) meetings we:
- review your total loan portfolio and current balances,
- identify who your loan servicer(s) is, their role in your repayment and how to work with them,
- go over a calendar of when repayment will start and what you need to do to prepare for it
- evaluate the myriad of repayment plan options offered by the Dept. of Education so that we can compare both monthly repayment costs and overall loan repayment costs (i.e. total principal vs. interest paid) and determine the most viable plan for you’
- project what your support under our loan repayment assistance program COAP may look like over your ten years of eligibility, even accounting for various scenarios (job changes, marriage, children, etc.) along the way.
But we didn’t really need a report to validate that our personalized approach was the way to go. The proof for us is always our student themselves. We see that many of them walk into these sessions with a lot of trepidations and fear (let’s face it no one wants to really face their loan debt head on). But overwhelming when they finish the meeting they always say things like “that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be” or “I really can manage this”. And that’s our goal … to have you walk out feeling confident that you have plan of action to deal with the loan debt in the context of your overall financial planning.