## How do I use the auto loan calculator?

Nothing could be easier.

- Click clear and enter values for:
- Amount of Loan
- Number of Payments
- Annual Interest Rate

- Optionally set the dates.
- Leave Loan Payment Amount set to 0.
- Click
**"Calc"**, or**"Payment Schedule"**for a detailed amortization schedule

- Finito!

### Auto Amortization Schedule

#### Info...

**File save and open are new beta test features.**If you happen to get a different calculated result, do not assume that this calculator is making an error. Most likely, the problem is with the new file load feature. Please check that all settings got loaded as expected.

VERY IMPORTANT - You __must__ enter a 0 if you want a value calculated. A few users have wondered why this is. They want to know why the calculator does not just recalculate the last calculation if they change one of the inputs such as the amount of the loan.

The calculator operates this way so you can create a payment schedule using whatever inputs you want to use. This behavior is a feature! By not automatically recalculating a payment, this calculator lets those users that do not have a "typical" auto loan create an amortization schedule.

ABOUT DATES - This calculator now allows irregular length first periods. That is, the calculator calculates the exact amount of interest due even when the initial period is shorter or longer than the other scheduled periods. __This will result in payment amounts as well as interest charges that do not match other calculators__. If you want to match other calculators, then set the "Loan Date" and "1st Payment Date" so that the time between them equals one full period as set in "Payment Frequency." Example: If the "Loan Date" is May 15th and the "Payment Frequency" is "Monthly," then the "1st Payment Date" should be set to June 15th, that is __IF__ you want a conventional interest calculation. See the end of the "Help" text for some more details.

Of course, you can always leave the dates set as they are when the calculator loads.

## Auto Loan Amortization with a Difference

Don't let this page's introduction mislead you.

When designing this auto loan amortization calculator, my objective was to create a calculator that would give you, the user, the ability to estimate the total cost of ownership.

The cost of financing is only part of the story.

To get a complete picture, one has to also consider sales tax, insurance, maintenance, periodic registration fees as well as possible loan application fees. This calculator will account for all these potential costs.

You can use this calculator to answer the following questions:

- What price car can I afford?
- How much will my car payment be?
- What car loan rate do I need?
- How much to put down on a car?
- How many months to finance a car?
- NEW - how much will extra payments save in interest?

### Auto Loan Calculator Help

You should use this calculator if you want to express the down payment as an amount. (Use this site's mortgage calculator if you need to show the down payment as a percentage.)

Unlike our general loan or simple loan calculators, this calculator will allow you to have more than one unknown value in some instances.

To indicate an unknown value, enter "0" (zero).

You can enter the car price, the down payment amount available, the total number of periods, and the interest rate. When you click on "Calc," the amount of the loan and the monthly payment will be calculated.

If you enter the loan amount and "0" for the down payment amount, then the calculator will calculate how much down payment you need.

If you enter "0" for the price of the car, a down payment amount, "0" for the amount of loan, the total periods, the interest rate and the payment you can afford, the calculator will calculate the amount of the loan and the price you can afford to pay for the car. You can use this calculation to tell you what you can afford to pay and borrow and still stay within your budget.

## Steven says:

I love the Auto Loan Calculator! However when I enter the URL it takes me to the comment page instead of the calculator. I have even tried copying and pasting the Specialized URL link directly to my desktop, but the link will intermittently return me to the calculator, but usually the discussion instead. Could you send me a download of the calculator program for my PC? Thank you in advance for your time.

## Karl says:

Hello, financial-calculators.com is back up and running. I’m sorry for the problems you experienced. An automatically applied update went wrong and it eventually brought down the entier site on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I could not figure out the problem and get it fixed until late Tuesday (eastern time USA). Thank you for reporting the problem.

## Lisa says:

I am wanting to use auto loan calculator. I see where I can put our processing fee. When I add the fee, it puts -$ amount under one of the following, trade-in, down pmt. Am I doing something wrong. Thank you for this calculator.

## Karl says:

Are you saying that you enter a fee in "Loan Fees or Charges" on the "Options" tab and it becomes part of the "down payment" or "trade-in value"? That should not be and it does not happen for me.

Please try again, and after you click calc, copy and paste to a reply to this comment, the text in the custom URL box found below the calculator. This will give me your inputs and settings so that I can test.

The only place you should see the fee is in the APR calculation results at the bottom of the schedule if you choose that option as well

Thanks.

## Lisa Russell says:

Under loan fee and charges im wanting to put 100$ but when i do it does not calculate it into the total cost.

## Karl says:

I see what you mean. I have to see what went wrong. I’ll try to release a fix over the weekend. Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

## Karl says:

Lisa, the problem with the loan fee is fixed. If there is a fee, the calculator will show the customized schedule for auto loans which includes the fee amount. (It always was included on the front of the calculator itself in the total price calculation.)

You may have to perform a hard refresh of the page if you don’t see the change right away:

Depending on your operating system all you need to do is the following key combination:

Above, from Refresh Your Cache.

Thank you for reporting the bug. I’m curious, is this calculation a one off for you, or will you be using the calculator regularly, perhaps for business?

## Shea says:

I have tried several different tools online including doing the calculation out by hand, but whenever I compare the monthly payment to the “truth-in-lending” forms for our different vehicles, the amount is always off by a small amount, typically around 30 cents or so. Any ideas why that might be? I just cannot figure it out.

## Karl says:

Let me first say that this apr calculator on this site creates a printable truth-in-lending act disclosure statement that I have tested against every example in the U.S. Truth-in-Lending Act.

As to your question, I don’t know how to answer it. Are you saying the forms you are looking at calculated the payment amount and a loan calculator gives you a different result? That doesn’t really matter. What’s important is if you agree in the interest calculation. If you agree in the interest, the 30 cents or so difference will be accounted for by rounding the last payment amount. A loan payment amount itself can be any amount that the lender and borrower agree on. That’s why the calculators on this site allow users to enter a payment the the calculators will create payment schedules with the right interest amounts calculated. One observation, however, the loan that has a 30 cent higher payment will cost the borrower slightly less than the loan with the lower payment, assuming the interest gets calculated between the two loans using the same method. This is because the extra 30 cents will be used to reduce the principal balance which will lower the interest due in the next period.

## Jeff Franklin says:

Hello,

When I am using the auto loan calculator I am wonder if when I use the “options” tab to enter Loan Fees if those fees are incurring interest at the interest rate selected for the loan. Where I’m from the lenders charge interest on these fees for the duration of the loan. I can see that these have an affect on the APR which makes sense. I just want to make sure the interest is correct and if not how do I make this calculator charge the interest on the fees as well.

Thanks

## Karl says:

The loan fees are assumed to be an up-front charge and payable at the time the loan is taken out. Therefore, the fee is not added to the balance and it has no impact on the interest charges.

You can circumvent this behavior by adding the fee to the loan balance. After all, if you have to pay interest on the fee, then the fee must not have been paid, and therefore, it’s effectively part of the balance due.

Does that work for you?

## JEFF says:

I can do that, however, the APR would not be accurate in that case. I need an option where these fees are subject to finance and allows the correct APR to be calculated on the loan. Right now the only real way to do this on your calculator would be to take the fees and calculate the interest over the term of the loan, then add the interest of the fees to the original fee amount and then place that in the Option/fee section.

## Karl says:

Are you in the US? And are you speaking about the APR as defined by the Truth-in-Lending Act (Reg. Z)? If so, then in fact it would be accurate.

Please see APR Calculator for some background on the US APR calculation.

The APR calculation does not consider interest or principal (or fees) separately per se. The APR is an internal-rate-of-return calculation and at it’s core it take’s the loan amount and the amount that is paid until the loan is paid off. If there are fees that are paid off with the loan, then the fees are added to the loan balance. If the fees are not paid off with the loan, they are deducted from the loan amount. The borrower may borrow $36,000 for a car and there might be $500 in fees which are due the lender which are paid up front, then the lender, from an APR point of view, didn’t really lend the borrower $35,000, they lent them $34,500 because the borrower gave them $500 back. The APR calculation then looks at the total payments required by the lender to amortize the loan. Perhaps the payments total $43,200 (48×900) Those payments are what is use by the APR calculation. It doesn’t matter what part of the payment is interest.

Very interesting, right? This is why the APR calculation is good for consumer. The calculation is about what is borrowed, and what is paid? Simple.

## Lizzet Gonzalez says:

That’s an amazing calculator but it would be incredible that it would be available as a widget for HTML Websites! Could it be possible?

## Karl says:

Thank you. Glad that you think it’s amazing!

As to making it into a widget, I have so many projects lined up that must be completed first, even if I agreed to do that, it would be years away.

## Jose Silva says:

Hi, I have installed the plugin in wordpress but I cannot find where it is. It doesn’t show up on the left sidebar.

## Karl says:

There’s more to setting the calculator up than just installing it to your plugin folder. Did you see the documentation about the 3 methods you can use for getting it to display on your website? Which method did you use? Please send me the details.