# How Does Student Loans Interest Work

You’re probably tired of hearing about student loans, but it’s time to talk about them again. You might have heard that your student loan debt is going to add up very quickly if you do not understand how interest works or what it means for your bottom line. If you want to take control of your finances and minimize your student loan balance as much as possible, read on!

## Understand how interest is calculated.

When it comes to student loans, the interest rate is calculated on a daily basis. In other words, it’s not just the principal balance that gets charged interest; your overall outstanding loan balance increases by the daily amount of interest you’re paying.

To calculate interest on your student loan, simply multiply the daily rate by your outstanding principal balance. The result is how much you’ll owe in new money every day (versus paying off existing debt). For example: If a borrower has \$10,000 in student loan debt at an annual percentage rate (APR) of 4%, their daily APR would be 0.04 x 10k = 40 cents per day or \$20 per month or \$240 per year!

## Know when your interest begins accruing.

When you borrow money, it is common to be hit with interest from day one. Interest works by adding a percentage of the principal borrowed to your total balance over time. For example, if you take out \$10,000 in student loans and pay them back over 10 years at 4.5%, your annual payment will be \$453 (assuming no increase in rates). The more you borrow and the higher your interest rate are two factors that influence how much money will end up being paid over time.

But what happens when there are multiple payments due? How does this affect how much interest accrues on each payment?

## Determine how long you’ll spend paying off your student loans.

The length of time it takes to pay off your student loans depends on several factors, including the amount you borrow and your monthly income. Use a monthly loan calculator to determine how long it will take you to pay off your student loans.

The following factors affect how long it will take you to repay your student loans:

• How much money do I make?
• Do I have other expenses besides my student loan payments? (For example, do I own or rent a home or car?)
• What interest rate am I paying on my loan(s)? (This is usually based on creditworthiness.)

## Make the minimum payments on your loans.

The more you pay, the faster you’ll get out of debt. And while it may seem like a big deal to make your monthly payments on time and in full—and it is!—it’s also important to understand that making the minimum payment won’t help you get all the way there. The reason for this has to do with how compound interest works: The longer it takes for your loan balance to shrink because of low payments, the more money will end up going towards interest instead of principal.

The takeaway? Don’t skimp on student loan payments if at all possible. Instead, set aside enough money each month so that when your bank or lender asks for a certain amount each month (say \$200), this amount includes not just principal but also some extra cash that goes toward paying down what you owe faster than usual.

## Predict how much money you’ll need to borrow.

The first step in managing your student loan is to know how much money you will need to borrow. You can use a student loan calculator to predict your monthly payments, or use a loan repayment calculator to predict how long it will take to pay off your loan.

There are many online calculators available for free that will help you determine the likelihood of being able to pay back your loans based on certain assumptions regarding income and expenses.

## Know that most private student loan providers will charge higher interest rates than the federal government.

Private student loan providers will charge higher interest rates than the federal government. This is because these lenders are not backed by the U.S. Department of Education, so they have to charge higher rates to ensure their loans get repaid. Each private lender sets its own rates and payment plans for its loans.

Even though you may be able to find a better interest rate on a private student loan than you would get from the federal government, it’s important to remember that these are still loans—and all debt has consequences if you don’t pay it off promptly and in full.

## Your student loan debt is going to add up very quickly if you do not understand how interest works or what it means for your bottom line.

If you are like most people, when you got a student loan, your focus was on paying the minimum amount each month so that you could avoid defaulting on your debt. However, if you do not understand how student loan interest works, or what it means for your bottom line, then this can be a very risky strategy.

There are two main factors that determine how much money is going to be added to your balance by interest: time and rate. The longer it takes you to pay off your loans—and the higher the interest rate—the more money will be added to them by way of additional fees and charges. This means that if there is any chance at all that you may have trouble paying back what you owe on time (elevating their risk profile), lenders will charge higher rates in order to compensate themselves for the extra risk they are taking by lending money.

When you are preparing to take out a student loan, it is important to understand how interest works. Interest can be very difficult to understand at first glance and can cause many people to feel overwhelmed by its complexity. However, if you follow these steps, it will become much easier for you to navigate through this process without any problems.