How much do you need to budget for loan repayment?
If you’re thinking through the logistics of furthering your nursing education, cost is, of course, a significant consideration. Can you afford to become a nurse practitioner? What will your lifestyle look like if you need to take out a substantial amount in student loans? Yesterday I looked at the actual cost of the NP education taking student loan interest into account. Today, let’s look at this number in a manner more conducive to financial planning, your anticipated monthly student loan payment.
The amount you can expect to pay each month on your nurse practitioner loans depends primarily on two factors – the amount you borrow and the terms of your loan. The more lengthy your payback plan, the more interest accrues over time. Choosing to take a longer route to loan repayment means that ultimately you pay more to finance your nurse practitioner education. On the other hand, student loans with longer terms equate to lower monthly payments.
As a prospective nurse practitioner, it’s important to think ahead when you take out a loan. If the term of the loan is too short, you may find yourself financially strapped on a month-to-month basis. Paying off your loan over a lengthy period, for example a 25-year term, leaves you responsible for monthly student loan payments until 2040 or beyond! Do you really want to have 20 plus years of nurse practitioner experience under your belt and still be paying off your education?
To give you a rough idea as to the monthly student loan payments you can expect as an NP, check out the following charts. All calculations are based off of the previous post I mentioned, ‘How Much Will Your Nurse Practitioner Education Really Cost You?‘, so I recommend reading that post first if you haven’t already.
Attending a public university and paying in-state tuition rates puts your monthly student loan payments anywhere from $350 to $118/month depending on how quickly you plan to repay them.
Attending a public university and paying out-of-state tuition rates you can expect to pay about $612 to $207/month towards your student loans depending on the terms.
Monthly loan repayment for NP education at a private university is expected to be between $874 and $296 depending on the term of your student loan. Remember, tuition at private universities varies widely and in reality may be significantly higher or lower than this $45,000 tuition estimate.
Attending an online nurse practitioner program will put monthly payments for your NP education between $437 and $148 depending on how quickly you plan to pack back your student loans.
Remember, you may need to take out loans to cover more than tuition alone. Cost of living, textbooks and travel to and from clinical sites can add up. If you are still repaying loans related to your undergraduate education, count on higher monthly payments. Create a mock budget for your life as a nurse practitioner post-graduation using the average NP salary as your guide. How will monthly student loan payments fit into your budget?
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