The Eight Best Online Loan Calculators
Applying for any kind of loan—sadly—means doing a lot of math. You have to do stuff like calculate annual percentage rates (APRs) and figure out how your monthly payment will be affected by the length of your repayment term. With some loans, you even have to factor in taxes and insurance.
Heck, getting answers on your student loan payments might as well require you to go to school to figure it out—which would then mean taking out yet another student loan to pay for it!
(We’re joking about that last one. But only slightly.)
However, just because you have to do some math, doesn’t mean you have to do it all on your own. There are lots of great loan calculators available online that ask for your basic loan info and then do the hard part (read: the math part) for you.
This is why we combed through a ton of online offerings before settling on the best, most usable loan calculators that we could find.
Here’s what we recommend.
1. Personal Loan Calculator – Bankrate.com
Bankrate.com is a great website that lets you compare rates on a whole bunch of different loans, credit cards, and other financial products. And to help you do that, they offer a sleek, simple loan calculator that’s a cinch to use. It can be used for any kind of loan, including mortgages and auto loans, but there are lots of auto and mortgage specific calculators out there that offer more specific features.
We recommend using this one for standard personal loans. The pie-chart feature that shows how much you’ll pay in interest versus the rest of your balance is a lovely touch.
2. Auto Loan Calculator – Cars.com
I know. You’re absolutely shocked that a site like Cars.com would offer one of the best auto loan calculators. We know. We’re surprised too. In all seriousness, though, this is a great calculator that includes lots of car-specific data points. For instance, when you’re buying a car, you’re probably going to get hit with sales tax. So this calculator lets you enter that tax rate in, giving you a full picture of how much you’re paying. It even has a feature where you can estimate and factor in the value of your trade-in.
Nobody likes being hit with surprise fees and taxes, so the Cars.com calculator makes sure you get as clear a snapshot as you can before actually applying.
3. Mortgage Loan Calculator – Zillow.com
If you’ve spent any amount of time shopping for a house, apartment, or condo, then you’re probably familiar with Zillow.com, one of the leading real estate listing sites. To help prospective homebuyers, they’ve created a mortgage loan calculator that gives you a lot of information—without getting busy or hard to use.
There’s a basic version of the calculator where you can enter cost, down payment, APR, and term-length to get a broad overview of your loan, and then a more advanced version where you can enter in property tax, home insurance, and HOA dues. The calculator is geared around your expected monthly payment, which it breaks down into its various parts, letting you see how much you’re paying each month in principal and interest, taxes, insurance, and HOA fees. The calculator not only provides you a full amortization schedule as well, it even pops that information into a handy-dandy graph!
When you’re making a plan to pay down your existing debt, you’re probably choosing one of two methods. Either you’re focusing on paying off the debt with the lowest balance first, also known as the “Debt Snowball” method, or you’re making your highest-interest debts your top priority, better known as the “Debt Avalanche” method.
No matter which method you choose, you’re going to need a calculator to help you make a plan of attack. Luckily, there are actually two really great calculators out there that will help you with both methods. They’re offered by Undebt.It and Unbury.Me. Neither calculator is super fancy because they don’t need to be. They walk you through the debt organization process and give you a clear picture of how long it will take you to become debt free, how much you’ll be paying each month, and how much you’ll pay in interest along the way.
If you want to learn more about the debt snowball and debt avalanche methods, you can check out our blog posts:
6. Federal Student Loan Calculator – StudentLoans.Gov
If you have federal student loans, then why not use the federal government’s loan calculator to help you repay them? The best part about their calculator is that you can log into the StudentLoans.gov website and it can instantly access all the info for your outstanding loans. No more typing all of your info into the fields. It also gives you payment plans, estimates, and projected loan forgiveness based on what type of repayment plan you’ve selected or are eligible for.
To learn more about student loan forgiveness, check out our blog post:
7. Private Student Loan Calculator – StudentLoanHero.com
If you have a mixture of private and public loans, then we recommend checking out the calculators offered by StudentLoanHero.com, a website created to help people organize, manage, and repay their student debt. They have 20 different calculators, most of which are designed for different aspects of student debt, both private and public, including calculators that will help you with consolidation and refinancing.
To learn more about student loan consolidation, check out our blog post:
8. Payday Loan Calculator – CSGNetwork.com
Before taking out a payday loan, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. Because, while the interest rates for these short-term, no credit check loans might seem reasonable, their APRs show you just how expensive they are compared to other types of loans. That’s why, when you’re considering taking out a payday loan, you should always check the APR first. But don’t worry, all you need is the principal amount you’re borrowing, the length of your repayment term, and the interest charge, which might be referred to as a “loan fee”. (Unlike other loans, payday loans are designed to be paid back in a single, lump-sum payment, which means that interest is often charged as a flat fee, rather than an ongoing rate.)
Once you have that information, you can visit this payday loan APR calculator provided by CSGNetwork.com. The calculator might not look like much, but it’ll get your APR calculated lickety-split.