2016-10-15 Optimizing Student Loan Payments
http://github.com/ambuc/shovel

This is a python script for calculating an optimal student loan repayment schedule. It is called like so:

$ python shovel.py 
+-----------------+---------+---------+---------+--------+---------+
|                 |  Loan01 |  Loan02 |  Loan03 | Loan04 |   Total |
+-----------------+---------+---------+---------+--------+---------+
|                 |         |         |         |        |         |
|  2017 Principal | 1000.00 |  500.00 |  100.00 | 100.00 | 1700.00 |
|        Interest |  +50.00 |  +75.00 |  +40.00 |  +5.00 |  170.00 |
| Monthly Payment |  -24.00 |  -36.00 |  -11.00 |  -2.00 |   73.00 |
|  Annual Payment | -294.00 | -441.00 | -140.00 | -29.00 |  904.00 |
|                 |         |         |         |        |         |
|  2018 Principal |  756.00 |  134.00 |    0.00 |  76.00 |  966.00 |
|        Interest |  +37.80 |  +20.10 |   +0.00 |  +3.80 |   61.70 |
| Monthly Payment |  -51.00 |  -12.00 |   -0.00 |  -5.00 |   68.00 |
|  Annual Payment | -612.00 | -154.00 |   -0.00 | -61.00 |  827.00 |
|                 |         |         |         |        |         |
|  2019 Principal |  181.80 |    0.00 |    0.00 |  18.80 |  200.60 |
|        Interest |   +9.09 |   +0.00 |   +0.00 |  +0.94 |   10.03 |
| Monthly Payment |  -15.00 |   -0.00 |   -0.00 |  -1.00 |   16.00 |
|  Annual Payment | -190.00 |   -0.00 |   -0.00 | -19.00 |  209.00 |
+-----------------+---------+---------+---------+--------+---------+

The shovel.py script reads a coniguration file, config.yaml.

period: Yearly          #recalculation frequency. "Yearly" or "Monthly".

# If your period is monthly,
#  - your starting payment should be in terms of how much per month you can afford, and
#  - your growth           should be in terms of how much salary growth you expect each month.

startingPayment: 1000   #how much to begin paying down initially per period
growth: 0               #by what percent to increase the payment each period.
rounding: True          #whether or not to round loan payments to the nearest dollar

startingYear: 2017      #the year repayment started.
startingMonth: 1        #the month repayment started.

loans:
  - name: Loan01        #use unique identifiers please :)
    prin: 1000          #principal amount of loan
    rate: 5.00          #rate on loan
  - name: Loan02
    prin: 500
    rate: 15.00
  - name: Loan03
    prin: 100
    rate: 40.00
  - name: Loan04
    prin: 100
    rate: 5.00

Notes:

  • The engine expects a payment you can afford per-month (startingPayment), and distributes it across the loans, weighted by the potential interest from each loan.
  • There is an option (rounding) to round each monthly payment to the nearest dollar, for easier check-writing. True by default.
  • There is an option (growth) to inflate each month’s or year’s payment by a constant rate, to track with expected salary growth over the next n years. Zero by default.

Bugs:

  • Values for startingPayment smaller than (???) cause the script to never finish. This reflects the possibility of a desired repayment schedule to never converge; that is, if the amount you pay each month is smaller than the amount of interest accumulated, you’ll never pay off the loans. This could be caught in some user-friendly way.

Todo:

  • Support for staggered loan start dates
  • Support for maximum loan lifetime
  • Better end-of-life handling / sub-dollar handling

The source can be found on Github.