Using the student loan debt calculator

How to Decide if You Are Taking on Too Much Student Loan Debt

by Paige Estigarribia

Are you in the process of reviewing and finalizing fall college tuition and student loan documentation? 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.

Related: 5 Ways to Save on Student Loans

Step 2: Determine Your Parents' Contributions

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

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 your first year's salary, or about 10% of your monthly anticipated income.

Tips: Helpful Information on Student Loans

Step 5: Research Your 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.

Student loan calculator iconCalculator: Are you taking on too much student loan debt?

These steps will give you a good roadmap for determining how much student loan debt is too much.

Paige Estigarribia is a writer for The Dollar Stretcher who enjoys writing about food, frugal living, and money-saving tips. Visit Paige on Google+.

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