Choose a country
United States
Select a city
Select a city
Select language
Select country
Choose a country
United States
United States
Việt nam

How to Calculate Loan Payments and Costs

18 min.

When money is tight, a loan can be a lifesaver. If you are a first-time borrower, it may be difficult to understand how the payments are applied and what is the total cost of your loan. You must know how to calculate loan payments and costs before you apply.

How to Calculate Loan Payments and Costs

Here is the essential information loan payments, costs and how they are calculated.

How Personal Loan Payments Work

Your credit score dramatically impacts how much interest you pay each year and how much you pay monthly on a personal loan.

Lenders will demand higher loan rates and larger down payments from those with poor or no credit histories. It occurs because people are anxious about the possibility of receiving a refund.

If your loan is due and you need better credit, your monthly payments may be more than you can afford. If your credit score is high enough, your monthly payments may be more flexible and, therefore, easier to pay. You are responsible for paying back a personal loan's principal amount, interest, and applicable fees.

You can itemize your loan payments by:

  • Interest rates. The cost you'll incur to borrow money. Your APR is the sum of your interest rate and any up-front fees, like origination fees, you paid. The monthly payments on personal loans with a fixed interest rate will stay relatively high throughout the loan's term. You should expect a cheaper interest rate in proportion to the higher your credit score.
  • Loan principal. It is the money you borrow and then receive a deposit into your account.
  • Additional fees. Loan fees beyond the principal amount borrowed include late payment fees, insufficient funds fees, and origination fees.

Your debt repayment schedule and the time you have to pay it off determine your regular payment amount. Monthly payments on a $5,000 loan paid over five years are lower than payments on the same loan paid up in three years. Be aware, however, that your loan repayments will also include your interest rate and any expenses linked with it.

All Today 01.12.2023 Personal Loans in the US
All Today 01.12.2023 Personal Loans in the US

Compare best personal loans for you today! Apply for a loan with free credit check.

How to Calculate Monthly Loan Payments

Three variables—the loan's principal, interest rate, and length—comprise the basic formula for calculating monthly payments. Interest and principal payments are amortized over the same period in a loan. Payments are made once a month, on the same day, for 12 costs per year.

There are different loan calculators available for various purposes. You can take out loans that merely pay the interest or pay back the principal and draw together.

  • Interest-only Loans. For the duration of interest-only loans, the borrower must pay only the interest on the loan. Because your principal balance will stay the same during this time, you'll be able to make lesser monthly payments than you would with an amortized loan. Multiply the loan total by the interest rate per year, then divide that figure by the number of installments in a year to get the monthly payment for an interest-only loan. With a 10-year, 4%-interest loan and a $50,000 loan balance, the interest-only payments would be $166.67 per month. You can get an interest-only loan if you need a small monthly payment in the short term. There are, however, dangers associated with them. Paying less interest during a loan means paying more overall interest. It is also possible to owe more than the collateral is worth if its value drops.
  • Amortizing Loans. Personal loans with an amortization schedule feature payments that are fixed over time. A loan with an amortization schedule has its monthly payment amount split into principal repayment and interest payment components. As time progresses, a more significant portion of each payment goes toward the principal sum and a smaller quantity toward the interest. The amortization plan is the term for this. Amortization loans have a more complicated payment schedule because of the amortization factor. Initial loan payments for fixed-rate, fully amortizing loans are calculated using amortization tables given by the lender. A good example would be if you borrowed $20,000 for a car at 6% APR over five years. To determine your monthly payment, divide the annual percentage rate (APR) by the months you'll make payments (often 12). To begin with, this number by the loan's original balance should be the total amount you borrowed. The initial interest payment is $100. With continued prices, however, you will apply more of your money to the loan's principal and less to interest. Interest payments for the month can be calculated similarly, except that the loan sum used this time should be significantly smaller.

How to Calculate Total Loan Costs

Even loans of the same size can have vastly varying overall costs depending on factors, including the amount borrowed, the length of time it takes to pay back, and the annual percentage rate (APR).

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the primary determinant of your overall loan expenses. The interest rate is the cost you incur to borrow money from a financial institution. You can calculate the difference with a calculator or the loan amortization method.

The duration of the loan is a further consideration. You will pay less interest throughout the loan, but the monthly payments will decrease. To spend less interest during the life of the loan, choose the most considerable monthly amount you can reasonably afford and extend the loan term as little as possible.

You will also consider charges. It would be best to weigh the interest savings from prepaying a debt against the cost of doing so. Sometimes, a loan with a higher APR but no prepayment penalty could save you money.

A loan's upfront cost of origination is the same way. A greater origination charge will result in a smaller loan amount because it is calculated as a percentage of the total loan amount. Interest is calculated on the amount you borrow and is due regardless of how much you use the borrowed funds for. However, a loan with a lower interest rate but a higher origination charge could cost less overall. Use a loan comparison tool to see which loan offers the lower interest rate.

How to Save Money on Loan Interest Payments

Reducing loan interest rates can be accomplished in several ways, some of which take time and only apply to specific loans. The following techniques will help you minimize loan interest costs:

  • Prepay Your Loan and Limit Your Borrowing. Prepaying your loans might save you hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of dollars in interest over the life of the loan, and there is no prepayment penalty. If you cannot manage the monthly payment on a loan of this size, you should only take out a loan for what you need. Instead, think ahead and determine if a loan would help or hurt your financial condition. Then, take out a little loan that will get you back on your feet.
  • Make Extra Loan Principal Payments. You might save a significant amount of money and pay much less interest over the life of your loan if you spend a little extra on the principal each month. As an illustration, if you pay an extra $100 each month on a 30-year mortgage at 6% interest, you'll save by paying almost $20,000 in interest throughout the loan.
  • Prequalify. It's easy to get pre-approved by several different lenders. To determine if you can afford to pay off the debt, you need only compile the required data. The application process for a loan is where you will do most of the work. Lenders have different requirements, so it's essential to shop around. Some may need to see tax returns dating back several years, while others may need to see pay stubs or other proof of income.
  • Make Good use of a Credit Card that Offers an Introductory Interest-free Period. Those who need to consolidate their credit card debt may find a credit card that allows them to transfer balances to other cards as a helpful tool. The interest rate you receive is likely to be lower than the one on your existing card.

How to Pay off a Loan Faster

Your mortgage, car payment, credit card balances, and other unsecured debt can all be paid off sooner than you might think with the right approach. These strategies won't cause significant financial harm, but they can significantly reduce the interest you pay throughout the loan's lifetime and hasten your path to debt freedom. Before taking action, you should consult with your lender, as prepayment or additional monthly payment fees may apply to your loans.

  • Put Down Money Every Other Week. Make biweekly payments to repay the debt instead of monthly ones. Your charges will be applied more frequently, reducing the amount of interest built up. Instead of making 12 total payments per year, you'll be making 26 partial payments, reducing the length of your debt by several months, if not years. If you use this strategy, you might cut your 30-year mortgage term to 26 years.
  • Round up a Monthly Payment. To efficiently reduce the length of your loans, round up your monthly payments to the nearest $50. If your monthly payments on your auto loans are $220, try increasing that to $250. Although negligible on its own, the difference will shorten the term of your loan and save you considerable interest throughout your lifetime. You may have a more significant impact by rounding up your payments to the next $100.
  • Make an Additional Annual Payment. Those who find the idea of bi-weekly payments frightening can still achieve their objective by committing to paying an extra payment once every year. The interest rate will only increase once a year, but you will cut the length of your loan by months, if not years. Make that annual contribution from your bonus check, tax return, or any other unexpected money you get. You can also make that additional monthly payment easily by spreading it throughout the year. If you divide your monthly payment by 12, the yearly total will be the same as your monthly payment. Throughout the year, you can make an extra payment equal to the total amount without experiencing significant financial hardship.
  • Refinance. Refinancing is an excellent option for people who want to pay off their debt faster. It would be good if your credit score has gone up a lot since you first got the loan or if the interest rates have gone down significantly. It's vital to remember that refinancing makes the most sense if it speeds up the loan's amortization. You can do it by paying off the loan faster, which, thanks to your new, reduced interest rate, may be entirely within your budget. You could also use one of the above methods to shorten the length of your loan while keeping your monthly payment the same.
  • Try to Earn More Money and Put that Money Toward Paying off the Loan. If you increase your income and use that money toward your loan repayment, you can significantly reduce the time you will owe the money. If you need extra money, you could try selling some of your belongings online, cutting back on impulse buys and putting the money you save toward your loan, or even working a part-time job on the weekends and holidays. You may make a significant dent in your debt with even a $200 monthly increase in income.


What is the formula for calculating loan payments?

Divide the annual percentage rate of interest by the total number of months in a year to determine the amount of your monthly loan payment (12 in most cases). Multiply this number by the outstanding balance of your loan at the beginning of the calculation, which should equal the entire amount you borrowed.

How do you calculate monthly payments on a personal loan?

You can estimate monthly loan payments independently by dividing the total amount owed (principal plus interest) by the number of months left on loan (in months). Let's pretend that your loan period is 24 months, and you'll owe $2,400. With a loan of $2,400 over 24 months, your monthly payment would be $100.

How do I calculate loan payments in Excel?

Loan payments can be easily calculated in Excel by entering the monthly interest rate in decimal format in cell A1 and the number of installments owed in cell A2. Next, fill out cell A3 with the highest possible monthly payment that is still manageable for you. You can determine the maximum loan amount by entering "=PV(A1,A2,A3)" into cell A4.

How do I calculate the total amount paid on the loan?

Multiplying the original loan amount by one plus the annual percentage rate yields the final payment due after the loan's repayment term. Then, multiply that total by the elapsed years. F = P(1 + i)N is the equation's form.

How do loan payments work simply?

Your loan's principal, interest rate, and loan term enter into the basic payment formula. The loan principal and interest are amortized equally during the loan's payback period. It's common to make 12 payments annually regardless of the length of your term.

What is the process of loan payment?

Payment on a loan consists of the principal (the original loan amount) and interest (a percentage of the principal paid monthly). Both parts are due on the same day each month during the loan's duration.
The article was useful

Similar articles

In this block we have selected for you articles on similar topics