Student Loan Repayment Affordability Guidelines
Monthly minimum payment for total student loan debt should be 10% or less of your expected monthly take-home pay. Approximate take-home pay to be about 75% of salary. Use Salary Information Tools and Student Loan Calculators below to get an idea about your recommended loan limit.
Annually assess total loan debt for repayment affordability.
- Gather totals for all student loans
- Federal: Studentaid.gov
- Private: See your lender’s customer portal
- Use loan simulator, like those linked below, to simulate future borrowing
- Check monthly minimum loan repayment amount against anticipated future earnings
Salary Information Tools
- MU Career Center: Staff can show you how to find salary information from trusted sources.
- College Career Services Office: Find salary data for recent graduates in your program of study.
- Median Salaries by Occupation and Location, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Student Loan Calculators
More Smart Borrowing Tips
- Borrow proactively to avoid overborrowing
- Assess loan needs each spring. Visit OFS if unsure how much you will need to cover educational expenses.
- Got a refund from MU due to a loan?
- Divide refund by # months in the semester. ‘Pay yourself’ that amount monthly to cover living expenses.
- Set your TouchNet account so that refunds are credited toward future semesters
- Apply refund toward loan repayment
- Reassess borrowing needs – Take out smaller loan next term
- Don’t fund wants (spring break or new car down payment) with student loan
- If possible, pay the interest on unsubsidized and private loans while in school or before repayment begins
- For a $5,500 loan at 5.5% interest, paying off interest monthly amounts to about $25 a month.
- Paying off accrued interest while in school will reduce total debt and monthly repayment amount at graduation.