DebtPayPro has developed an internal calculator for generating student loan payment plan estimates. The calculator was developed using the information provided at studentaid.ed.gov. Below is an article explaining how to use the calculator and some FAQs about this feature.
Start by clicking "Retrieve Loans and Programs" from the client dashboard or "Quick Quote" from the Contacts tab.
How it works...
1. Upload the My Student Data File or pull from NSLDS.ed.gov
First, the calculator uses the data file available at NSLDS.ed.gov. The "My Student Data File" is a text file provided by the NSLDS containing the current Loan data they have on file. You can choose to either pull the information from NSLDS.ed.gov using the FSA username and password or upload the file directly into the calculator. You can download an example of the file here; Click Here.
Now that the file has been uploaded the additional information saved for the contact will appear along the left-hand side as with the old loan pulling system. Once you have confirmed the information is correct, click the "Calculate" button. You can also change the information here and re-calculate the estimates based on the changes you've made to the data.
3. Plan Display
Now the loan data and the estimated payments will be displayed.
You can then click on "Details" to see further information about the particular plan and see future estimated payments.
Details are available for the Standard, Extended Fixed, REPAYE, PAYE, IBR, and IBR for New Borrowers.
- For the income-based plans you can adjust the AGI growth to see how it affects the future estimated payments, plan length, and forgiveness amount. The DOE states it assumes your AGI will grow by 5% each year and that the Poverty Level increases by 3.3%. We have defaulted the AGI growth to 5% but if you feel the AGI will not grow at this rate you can adjust and see how it affects the plan estimates.
- Each Details page also displays the mathematical equation use to do the calculations.
- Income-based plans calculate your payment based on a percentage of discretionary income. Discretionary income is the difference between AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) and 150% of the Poverty Level.
- The Standard, Extended Fixed, Graduated, and Extended Graduated initial payments all use a standard mortgage equation for calculations.
- Future payment estimates are not available for Graduated, Extended Graduated, and ICR plans.
Once ready you can click the green "Save Data" button under the estimated payment program table.
Options for Collecting the My Student Data File...
Downloading the My Student Data File
You can have your clients go to NSLDS.ed.gov, locate the "MyStudentData Download" Icon (pictured below inside red outline). They can then download the file and email it to a representative to upload in the loan calculator.
Accounts utilizing the Customer Portal will also be able to have clients upload the "My Student Data File" through the portal.
After uploading the file, additional information will need to be added to calculate plan estimates and displayed directly in the portal.
For more information or to activate the Customer Portal for your account please contact email@example.com.
To activate the file upload functionality on the customer portal you will need to go to Admin Tab > Settings > Client Portal Settings and activate the checkbox for "NSLDS File Upload"
External Form Request
You can also set up an external form request to have the client upload the file using a secure channel. The file will then be loaded onto the internal calculator ready to be used for calculations. To set this up please visit our article on setting up an external form request to collect the My Student Data File; Click Here.
- Why are the calculations for the Standard, Graduated, Extended Fixed, and Extended Graduated plans slightly off from quotes provided by studentloans.gov?
According to information provided at studentaid.ed.gov, the payment amount is calculated using a weighted average of the interest rates on all loans being consolidated. However, when using the repayment estimator available on studentloans.gov they will round the interest rate up instead of doing a calculation for the weighted average interested rate; instead of using 6.55%, they will round to 6.75%.
A weighted average simply means the interest rate of a loan will factor into the calculation based on its percentage of total debt. For example, if you have 2 loans totaling $70,000, one loan for $50,000, one for $20,000; when calculating the weighted interest rate the $50,000 loan's rate will count more towards the average then the $20,000.
- Why are there no details for the Graduated, Extended Graduated, and ICR plans?
We are not able to provide an accurate calculation for those future payments at this time. If you would like to provide information on doing so please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- After uploading the My Student Data file does it get saved?
Yes, the file will be saved in the background and will be available the next time you go to calculate payment estimates.