Create a plan for borrowing and repaying
Personalize your plan.
Create a plan to pay for college that tracks scholarships, grants, and other funds. Use our College Planning CalculatorSM to determine your expected monthly student loan payments. Save your plan so you can make updates any time.
Estimate how much you need to borrow.
Depending on the type of your loan, your school may certify your loan amount so you don’t borrow more than the cost of attendance (COA). You can find your COA on your financial award letter. The COA is an estimate of what you can expect to pay for the following:
- Tuition and fees
- Room and board
- Books and supplies
- Personal expenses
Borrow only for the cost of tuition and related expenses.
That way, you’ll be able to keep track of how much you owe and more effectively manage your debt.
Subtract any money you have received from scholarships, grants, work-study, and federal loans, along with any savings you or your family have for school. Then you’ll be left with the amount you still need to pay for college.
Think about your post-college lifestyle.
Only borrow what you can afford to pay back. The College Board® suggests that a new graduate’s monthly student loan payments should be no more than 10 - 15 percent of their starting monthly salary. Visit the U.S Department of Labor’s website for estimated salaries by occupation.