Feb 23, 2024
If you’ve been thinking about borrowing money and are curious to see what payments would look like before you apply, a loan calculator can be an ideal tool to help you figure this out.Bankrate’s loan calculator was designed to help borrowers calculate amortized loans. These are mortgages, auto loans, student loans and other types of personal loans that are paid off in regular installments over time, with fixed payments covering both the principal amount and interest. Our calculator shows you the total cost of a loan, expressed as the annual percentage rate, or APR. Enter the loan amount, term and interest rate in the fields below and click calculate to see your personalized results.
The cost of a loan depends on the type of loan, the lender, the market environment, your credit history and income. Before shopping for loans, it’s important to check your credit score, as this will help you narrow down your search to lenders that offer loans to borrowers within your credit profile. That said, to secure the best interest rates, you’ll need to have good to excellent credit (a FICO score of 740 and above).Before shopping for any loan, it’s a good idea to use a loan calculator. A calculator can help you narrow your search for a home or car by showing you how much you can afford to pay each month. It can help you compare loan costs and see how differences in interest rates can affect your payments, especially with mortgages. An interest rate calculator, on the other hand, can help you determine how big of a payment you should be making each month to reduce how much you pay on interest. Using a calculator when borrowing money is crucial to make good financial decisions.
Calculators for loan types
Home equity loan
Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
- Should you borrow from home equity?
- If so, how much could you comfortably borrow?
- Are you better off taking out a lump-sum equity loan or a HELOC?
- How long will it take to repay the loan?
Secured vs. unsecured loans
Secured loans require an asset as collateral while unsecured loans do not. Common examples of secured loans include mortgages and auto loans, which enable the lender to foreclose on your property in the event of non-payment. In exchange, the rates and terms are usually more competitive than for unsecured loans.
Unsecured loans don’t require collateral, though failure to pay them may result in a poor credit score or the borrower being sent to a collections agency. Common types of unsecured loans include credit cards and student loans.
Loan basics to know
When taking out any loan, it’s important to understand these four factors:
- Interest rate: An interest rate is the cost you are charged for borrowing money. This rate is charged on the principal amount you borrow.
- APR: The APR on your loan is the annual percentage rate, or cost per year to borrow, which includes interest and other fees. You can use Bankrate’s APR calculator to get a sense of how your APR may impact your monthly payments.
- Repayment term: The repayment term of a loan is the number of months or years it will take for you to pay off your loan. Your loan’s principal, fees, and any interest will be split into payments over the course of the loan’s repayment term.
- Principal: The principal is the amount you borrow before any fees or accrued interest are factored in.