I had goal to pay my studnet loans off in 5 years. The first question I had was if my goal was realistic, and I wanted a way to track my progress to see if I was on track, or behind, and how much. I made a spreadsheet to track my progess, and I think some people in this community might find it usefull.
On page 1 it shows my payoff schedule. If you key in the original amount, and the interest, the excel spreedsheet does just about everything else for you. All you have to do is key in the payment. What is nice about this way, you can test certain payment plans based on your needs. In my case, I want my payment to go up 3 years from now, since I will no longer have a car payment. This is somthing that online calculators just can not do.
On page 2 I have the scheduled payment listed, and you can key in your actual payment.
Then the scheduled balance is listed, and you key in the actual balance from your student loans. The information is automatically pulled from sheet 1, so it will tell you if you are behind or ahead, and by how much. I have some subsidized loans right now, which the excel spreadsheed doesn't know are subsidized, so I will really get ahead in the next 5 months. There are some limitations to the spreadsheet.
Lets you figure out your interest rate. Key in the amount of the loan, and the interest rate, and it computes your average. I also put a spot for interest rate tracking, so you can follow the changes in your interest rate. If you are paying more than the minimum, and paying the extra towards your highest balance, then your interest rate will go down, so I though it would be cool to track.
Here are some screenshots:
I don't know where I can host an excel file from. If somebody can tell me where, I can upload the file tonight, so people can look at it. I made this file specifically for my use, so I know it has its limitations, but this community has helped me out a lot, so if I can help out on person, then its worth giving back to the community. If people want to download the file (once I find out where to upload it), I can take suggestions, and modify it to help out more people. I know step one is to add a few more years, as a lot of people may not be able to pay off their student loans that fast. Hopefully this post made sense, and I'm not breaking any rules by trying to upload a file.
Nice work. For the subsidized loans, see if it will allow you to put in 0% for the interest. That way you will get a more accurate picture of what your payments are going to. While you are looking at it, I would recommend paying more toward your unsubsidized loans (since you are paying the interest on those).
I realize could put 0% for my subsidized loans, (until June), then switch it to 6.14% on July 1st, I just don't think its worth the trouble. I would rather just 'get ahead' of my plan by 40 or so bucks a month until then.
As for the payments I'm making, I'm only paying off my 6.8% unsubidized loans right now. I haven't made a single payment towards any subsidized loans.
Also, the interest rate doesn't have to be exact anyway, as it changes every month. Since I have the option of putting the extra part of the payment towards any loan I choose, I put it towards the one with the highest interest rate, which brings my overall interest rate down each month (by about 1 basis point). Its not a huge change, but its something.
If my calculations are pessismistic, and don't take in to account the little things (like less interest as I get ahead of schedule), then I might pay off my loans in 4.5 years, and I'm fine with that.
I really like the spread sheet you made. I personally have just been lazying and been using mint.com and using it to track where I've been spending my money, net worth, and to watch my debt go down.
I've been paying off my loans with the higher interest of 6.8% first and paying as little as I can on the 1.8% loans.
I don't know where I can host an excel file from. If somebody can tell me where, I can upload the file tonight, so people can look at it.
Here is a link to the spreadsheet. Play around with it, and if a few people find it usefull and want to use it, I can change it to make it a bit more usefull for more people.
Here is a spreadsheet I created for student loans. Although I dont have to deal with student loans, I made this spreadsheet in anticipation of attending law school (for tax law).
I was a finance and accounting major in undergrad and thus, as u can see in the screenshots, I used shorthand (e.g. FV = future value, PV=present value)
the excel file
I just saw this thread but can no longer access the spreadsheet through the google docs link or the spreadsheet through megauploads (site taken down due to law suit) - can you please repost?
here's an amortization calculator (and some other tools)