Using a Personal Loan Calculator in 2019

Using a Personal Loan Calculator in 2019
Luke Loftin
on June 30, 2019
Read in 2 min

Creating a smart strategy is the key to successfully managing your finances. If you’re considering a personal loan to help finance an upcoming expense or event, consider different options by using a personal loan calculator.

Loan funds can be used for anything from a kitchen renovation to a wedding or adoption. Rather than pushing off these life goals while you save up the cash, check to see if you’d be better served by taking out a personal loan. If you have an idea of what interest rates you’d qualify for, then you can easily find out what costs to expect by using a calculator.

How do I calculate payments for personal loans?

You can use a personal loan calculator to calculate potential monthly payments with different scenarios. Use one to consider interest rates and loan terms to figure out the cost of different loan options. 

Additionally, you can weigh the pros and cons of shorter or longer loan periods. While a shorter term may come with higher monthly payments, a longer loan period typically results in more money paid in interest. Which one you prefer depends on your ability to repay the loan and the purpose of the loan funds. If you’re using the funds for a vacation, for example, do you still want to be making payments on that trip in five years? Maybe, or maybe not.

What can a personal loan calculator be used for?

A personal loan calculator breaks down loan terms into digestible bits of information. For example, a large loan amount may seem overwhelming or out of your financial comfort zone. 

But when you break down the cost by monthly payment, you may be surprised by what loan amount you can actually afford. On the other hand, you may be considering a major purchase or expense with a certain price tag. When you look at the actual cost month by month, that expense may not actually work with your budget.

A personal loan calculator can help you look at the loan principal amount as well as the amount of interest you’ll pay over the loan period. This can help you consider your options and find a balance between cost and monthly flexibility in your cash flow. 

What else should I consider when taking out a personal loan?

First, take a look at whether the loan is secured or unsecured. A secured loan requires collateral while an unsecured loan does not. Also, read the loan agreement in full to determine what types of fees you have to pay. Is there a prepayment penalty? That may impact your personal repayment plan. 

Finally, look at the loan amortization. Are the principal and interest payments spread out evenly or are you only paying interest for the first portion of the repayment period? A personal loan calculator can help you determine how quickly you can repay the loan by making extra payments in either case.

You may want to explore your financial opportunities by using a personal loan calculator. It can be a quick and easy tool that helps you to make decisions and maybe even consider some financing options you hadn’t thought of before.

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Disclaimer: This is not legal or financial advice. Please consult a legal or financial advisor for your specific situation.

Luke Loftin Finance Journalist

Luke is a writer and editor based out of Los Angeles.

He specializes in finance, as well as health and wellness.

In his free time, he enjoys watching Astros baseball.

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