Office of Enrollment Management

Student Loans

Student Loans

The mission of the Office of Financial Literacy is designed to help you decrease your need for as many student loans. We want to help you reduce the amount of money taken out in student loans. This will decrease your monthly loan repayment amount and allow for more financial independence upon leaving MUSC. Money borrowed for education is classified as a student loan. It is important for you to understand what you are agreeing to when you take out student loans, what student loans can be spent on, and options for repayment.

Subsidized loans versus Unsubsidized loans chart

How do I calculate the amount of interest I will pay for my (student) loans?

Most student loans charge simple interest.  These loans are usually cheaper than compound interest loans. Use the formula below to calculate simple interest. 

Chart of Interest Paid Calculations for a loan

Once you understand your budget better, you should only take out what is needed and return any extra. Remember you are on a student budget, spend like a student.

What would happen if you took $5,000 less per year which is $416 per month? Calculate the difference between what you take out in loans now and reducing the total by $5,000. That reduction over the course of time will create a significant difference in your overall loan repayment.

Borrowing wisely means borrowing only what you need.

Want to Reduce Your Student Loan Payment?

Take action by returning unneeded loan funds to reduce your student loan payment after graduation.

1. Utilize a budget to determine your estimated monthly expenses. 

2. Determine how much money you need for living expenses based on your budget to find your gap number between expenses and loan disbursement. (Monthly Expenses X Months in Semester)

3. Return the unneeded funds by completing the Request to Return Loan Funds Form (PDF format) and send to your Financial Aid Coordinator. Learn more about returning unneeded loan funds.

Return of funds image

Funds returned will have interest accrual and loan fees eliminated while reducing your overall payment once you have graduated. Even a modest amount like $250 per semester can be significant in reducing your overall loan amount. Every small effort counts.

Seek help from the Office of Student Financial Literacy prior to graduating so you can start off your new career with a better understanding of how to tackle your student loans.

Student Loan Calculators

There are many student loan calculators available online. The best calculator is available on where you can use your specific loan details and simulate loan repayment and how much borrowing more will cost you.

Additional calculators are below. 

Smart Asset's Student Loan Calculator

Mapping your Future Income-Based Repayment Calculator

Medloans Calculator and Organizer

Dental Loan Organizer and Calculator

Seeking more resources on financial aid? Check out the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Student Loan Repayment Management

Now that you have student loans, you will need to repay the lender. There are several options for loan repayment. Always refer to the terms of the loan agreement to best understand what is available to you.

Payments on federal student loans begin once you graduate, are enrolled half-time, or leave school. Private loans are subject to the terms of the agreement. Once you enter repayment, your loan servicer will place you on the standard repayment plan. You may request an income repayment plan.

The Standard Repayment Plan

This plan calculates a fixed monthly payment. This is paid for 10 years. There is an option for 25 years in the extended repayment plan. At the end of the 10-year term, the student loans are paid in full.

Income Repayment Plan

This plan calculates the student loan payments based off your income and family composition. Typically, these repayment plans are less expensive per month, but will cost you more over the course of the repayment.

Check out alternative methods to paying student loans through loan forgiveness or repayment programs.