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Car loan calculator: find the best deals

If you're looking for a good deal, a car loan calculator is the way to get started. You can use an online car loan calculator to figure out how long it will take to pay off your loan based on the interest rate, the start of the loan and your monthly payments.

If you decide to make extra payments during the life of the loan, whether it's yearly, monthly or as a one-time payment, you can add those in to see how quickly you will pay off the loan.

Compare and save

Once you know the rates, you can use a car loan calculator to compare the difference between financing with a bank versus financing from the dealer. You'll also be able to see how much you could save by financing with a credit union.

If you're planning to roll your current car loan into another loan, use a negative equity car loan calculator. You enter the existing amount that won't be paid off, the new amount that you'll be borrowing, the term of the new loan and the interest rate. Much like the car loan calculator, you can factor in extra payments you plan to make during the life of the loan.

Pros and cons of using home equity loans

Maybe you're planning to finance your car with a home equity loan. A car loan calculator can show you how much you could save by getting a home equity loan instead of an auto loan.

Enter what you would pay on a car loan. Then enter the interest rate, closing costs, federal tax rate and state tax rate you'd pay on a home equity loan. However, beware the risk of a home equity loan: If you fall behind on payments, you could end up in foreclosure on your house.

Another feature of a car loan calculator is the early payoff calculator for car loans.

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