Save $10K on your Student Loan Interest with this Repayment Hack

SL Repayment Hack


It’s no mystery that student loans are a major problem for recent generations matriculating through the “college for all, debt for all” era. Here’s a mathematically proven method to hack your student loans and save $10,000 all without paying more.

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My actual student loan breakdown, this just got real.

Step by Step:

  • Use your lender’s calculator (or the spreadsheet below) to determine the minimum monthly payment for a “Level” (or same payments throughout) “Standard” (Loan term of 10 years) plan.
  • Then, determine what the payment would be for a “Extended” (Loan term of 25 years plan).


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The Spreadsheet below does ALL of this for you once you enter the information in the BLUE columns.

Now, obviously paying the minimum payment on an extended 25 year loan will cost you your rear and right arm in interest. BUT you could…

  • Select the Extended/Graduated Plan as your repayment option (hang in there with me).
  • Set your monthly automated payment to their minimum payment for the Extended/Graduated plan.
  •  Apply the difference between your monthly payment for the Level/Standard and the payment for the Extended/Graduated plan (example shown below) DIRECTLY to principle.
  • It’s best if you take the difference of the two, divide it by two, and apply to the principle biweekly! (26 payments per year, versus 24 and you won’t even notice the difference).

How much could this save you? Well here’s an example using my actual numbers (don’t judge me).

Current Balance (including interest) = $32,554.93 

My Loan Repayment Options (as per Great Lakes):

  • Level Payment Plan Monthly Minimum Payment (10 years, same monthly payment)= $363.55
  • Extended Payment Plan Monthly Minimum (25 years, same monthly payment) = $212.39
  • Extended and Graduated Monthly Minimum (25 years, gradually increasing monthly payment)= $173.52

If I set my monthly payment to the Extended and Graduated Monthly Minimum, I will pay $173.52 via autopay (saves %0.5 on the interest with my lender) monthly.

I also set my bank up for auto-bill-pay in the amount of $363.55-173.53 (or $190.02) to deliver directly to the principle.

***HOWEVER, I will do it biweekly rather than monthly (26 payments per year instead of 24) and pay $95.01 (or $190.02 divided by two) every other week on auto pay from my bank.

Note: You may have to contact your lender and collect a Loan Reference number to make sure it goes to your loan costing you the most in interest and that it is directly applied to your principle.

This is how the numbers work out for me…

Total Cost of Interest under Level Standard Repayment Plan: $19,941.54.
Time to Repay: 120 months
Total Cost of Interest under my Graduated/Extended Principle Biweekly Hack Plan:  $10,113.97.
Time to Repay: 113 months

Pay it off sooner and save $9K in interest while also setting it and forgetting it for peace of mind and ease.

Want to see how much you could save? Feel free to use the same spreadsheet I used to calculate these values or download a copy of your own.

Please note I am NOT a financial advisor so take all I share with a grain of salt. This is MY method, should you choose to try it you will be doing so at your own risk. Don’t forget to pay extra to the principle because it could cost you big!

Good luck!

Download Excel Copy of Student Loan Payoff Strategy to follow along.


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