Georgia Student Finance Commission

Debt to Salary Ratio

College Money Matters

Debt to Salary Ratio

How much you make vs. how you live

To afford the lifestyle you want, you need a job that will pay you the necessary salary.

Debt to Salary RatioGAfutures provides information on multiple resources to pay for postsecondary education from state scholarships and grants to a national scholarship search tool. But all this might not be enough and you may still need some type of loan to pay for school.

While many students need to borrow some money to pay college expenses, you may be able to reduce the amount you need to borrow — and pay back, with interest.

Some experts say your future student loan payments should be no more than 8% to 12% of your monthly salary at the time you begin making payments. Mathematically, this translates to borrowing no more than the equivalent of one year’s salary, which is a simple guideline for students to remember. 

Private student loans can fill a necessary role in financing your education costs. Be careful and only borrow the minimum amount needed. Higher interest rates and varied repayment terms can make staying in the ideal debt to salary range more challenging.

Use this Debt/Salary Wizard interactive calculator to determine the following:

  • How much you can afford to borrow in student loan funds based on your future expected earnings.
  • The salary you will need in order to afford your student loan payments.


Learn More

Play the Student Loan Game Plan and get tips for saving money so you can make a plan to reduce college debt.

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