The first step is to enter the details of the proposed car loan in the fields above:
- Vehicle Price - The price that you will pay for your vehicle
- Down Payment - The amount of money that you will be putting down yourself on the car
- Trade In - If you will be trading in your current car, put its expected value here
- Owed on Trade - If you will be trading in and owe money on that vehicle, enter the amount here
- Interest Rate - The interest rate that you will pay on the loan
- Sales tax - The amount of sales tax levied in your area, this will be added to the vehicle price
- Term (Months) - The number of months that your loan will run over, typical terms for a car loan are 36, 48 or 60 months
- Start Date - This is the day that you sign your car loan contract, the first payment will come due one month later
Once you enter your details click "Calculate" and your loan information will be generated.
Understanding the Results
There are four main sections in the results:
This section gives you a brief summary of the proposed auto loan which includes the expected monthly payment, the total cost of the loan, total interest paid over the life of the loan and the date that the loan will be paid off in full. If you are simply trying to determine the monthly payment then this section is all you will need.
Cost Breakdown Chart
This pie chart provides a visualization of the total costs showing both the principal and interest paid over the term of your contract.
Principal Balances Chart
This chart shows you the balance of your loan at the end of each month over the term. Hovering the mouse over the line will popup a tooltip with the exact balance amount.
The final section is the amortization tables, there are three tabs here, the first shows your car loan amortized yearly, the second shows the monthly amortization for people who need full details and the third provides some further information breaking down all of the costs individually.
Each row on these amortization tables gives you a snapshot of your loans position at the end of the specified year or month and tells you exactly how much principal and interest you would pay, and the remaining balance at that point in time.
While this auto loan calculator should be highly accurate and give you a solid idea about the costs of a proposed car loan, it is not professional advise and should not be relied upon when making your final purchasing decision. Always talk to a professional directly and fully understand what you are getting into before signing a loan contract.
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