Student Loan Analysis Tool

I’ve been working behind the scenes for months now to produce a simple, free spreadsheet to help with one of the greatest financial problems of our generation, that of student loans. I finally have a student loan analysis tool to share with you after many hours of work, and I’m very excited about it. Click below to download it while you read the rest of the article.

The Millennial Moola Free Student Loan Analysis Tool

Student Loans: My Accidental Side Hustle

I started learning about the maze of loan repayment programs while helping my girlfriend make a plan to repay her medical school debt. There’s IBR, PAYE, the Standard Plan, and now REPAYE. Each of them have unique rules and eligibility requirements. On top of that, if you work in a not for profit job you can even qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

I realized that choosing the right student loan repayment strategy could be boiled down to a financial analysis of your individual loan situation. In my prior corporate life, I traded bonds for a living, so using Excel to build cash flow models is something I’m familiar with. I started doing flat fee $100 consultations for people with six figure student debt burdens about six months ago. I’m still taking on new clients by the way if this spreadsheet doesn’t give you enough detail. If you wanted to email me at travis@millennialmoola.com I could give you more information.

In the short time I’ve been involved in the student loan space, I’ve discovered that it’s basically the Wild West of middle class personal finance. I read an excellent piece over at Millennial Money Man reporting that “debt relief” companies are charging hundreds or even thousands of dollars to tell you about information you can find out for free by searching the free Federal student loan website.

Student Loan Servicers and Financial Aid Officers Do Not Model Anything For You

People are turning to these scams because the companies that collect their payments are awful. Additionally, they cannot even report accurate information as to how long you have paid your loans and how many qualifying payments you make towards loan forgiveness, much less give you an estimate as to how much different repayment plans cost.

The majority of financial aid officers are similarly useless. One veterinarian I spoke with as part of my student loan consulting practice had almost $400,000 in debt a few years out of school. Her loan counselor told her not to worry, that it was “good debt” that she would figure out how to pay off at some point down the road. This individual had no clue what they were talking about. She had the opportunity to limit her interest accrual by switching to REPAYE, which slowed the accelerating growth of her massive student loans.

I was lucky enough to graduate school without any debt. Even so, that somehow doesn’t stop some extremely annoying robo caller hassling me weekly about an exclusive student loan relief offer I can get by dialing zero after the tone to speak to a representative. If this ever happens to you, try to get off their list. You will be speaking to someone who is better at sales than adding or subtracting with minimal knowledge as to what the heck they are talking about.

How My Student Loan Analysis Tool Works

I have a simulation tab that runs all the data you enter in the ‘Student Loan Inputs’ tab. The ‘Summary Statistics’ tab boils all this down for you in an easy to understand page. The red tab is the highest cost repayment plan you could use. The green tab is the lowest. If you work in the private sector, your Public Service Loan Forgiveness row should read N/A. Here’s a sample of what’s going on in the background.