If you've come to this page expecting a lecture about the dangers of excessive debt, then you've come to the wrong page.

I designed the Ultimate Debt Calculator so that anyone who has more than one outstanding loan can see for themselves if it would be beneficial to change their payback plan.

A debt calculator
Debt Calculator

Manage and reduce your debts in the most advantagous way.

  • Debt Snowball.
  • Debt Avalanche.
  • Shortest to longest term.
  • Freelance Method.

Potentiallly save thousands in interest charges.

If you want a lecture, you can find plenty of blog posts about problems resulting from over-borrowing from a quick web search. For example, consider this post about personal debt or this one about business borrowing.

Instead of lecturing, I'll show you strategies for accelerating your repayment that will save you interest charges. Two such plans, commonly called the debt snowball and the debt avalanche, can possibly save you a bundle. And they don't even require a change in the total monthly payment.

Wouldn't it be sweet to save perhaps thousands of dollars?

Wouldn't it be even better if you could save thousands of dollars and not change your current monthly payment total - either now or ever?

The numbers don't lie.

The multiple debt calculator, will create a single payment schedule that gives you a personalized, step-by-step plan to reduce and then eliminate debt.

More below

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Ron & Amanda

  • She: 22 years old
  • He: 23 years old
  • Both recent college grads
  • $108,000 in debt
    • Student loans
    • 2 used car loans
    • 1 credit card debt
  • Each employed @ average starting saleries for those with degrees
  • Calculator showed them how to easily save $5,953 in interest charges

The webpage preloads the calculator with sample data so you can quickly try it and understand the various options. I suggest you take a few minutes to read the below before entering your loans.

But, if you are the type of person that likes jumping in and learn by trying, then you may want to skip ahead to Pointers on using the Ultimate Debt Calculator.

On the other hand, if you want to make sure you don't miss any features this debt calculator offers, then please keep on reading.

(If you started to enter your information, and now you want to follow along, hit your browser's refresh button to reload the page.)

FACT: Debt is a way of life

The fact is, most folks in western societies will borrow money at some point in their lives, and this is not inherently either good or bad. According to PEW Charitable Trusts, as of 2015, "80% of Americans hold some form of debt, made up of mortgages, car loans, unpaid credit card balances, medical and legal bills, student loans, or a combination of those".

The key is for borrowers to manage their loans and to reduce the cost of borrowing to whatever extent possible.

How can this be done?

Let's look at a not atypical couple; we'll call them Ron and Amanda, who are recent college graduates. Between them, they have college loans, two car payments, and one credit card with a balance resulting from expenses associated with their cross-country move and from buying a few necessities for their new apartment.

Debt Calculator Features

  • Create single, printable schedule for up to 25 debts
  • Stay on track. Multiple debt schedule shows each loan's payment due dates.
  • See what you save. Test 5 interest saving debt elimination plans
  • Combine methods for even extra savings
  • Calculate debt to income ratio
  • Calculate new debt free date
  • Calculate investment return between early payoff date and current payoff date
  • Works for personal or business borrowing

Our "not atypical" couple carries student loan debt equal to the average Class of 2016 graduate of $37,172 according to Student Loan Hero, and for this illustration we'll assume they are paying an interest rate equal to the 2017-2018 Stafford PLUS loan rate of 4.45% as reported by U.S.News.

Amanda and Ron both need cars to get to their jobs and they borrowed a little less than $30,000 to purchase two used ones. Again, the interest rates they are paying (10.0% and 5.42%) are within the normal used car interest rate range according to AAACreditGuide.

Finally, the credit card with a $5,500 balance accrues interest at a rate of 18%. This rate is significantly higher than the average credit card rate which is at 14% for cards that have balances as reported by CreditDonkey (as of June 2017.

One other optional detail, both Ron and Amanda started their careers at jobs that paid the average wage for 2017 college graduates, $49,785, according to Money magazine.

The total debt of just under $110,000 should not present a problem for our young couple with this income. In fact, it is well below the US national average as both an absolute number, $204,000 according to Sentier Research as of 2015 and when expressed as a debt to income ratio 370% according to Fortune Magazine. Thus there debt-to-income ratio is slightly above 100%. (More on this later.)

Fortunately, Ron and Amanda should not be stressed out over their debt load.

If that's the case, why should they care about debt management?

In one word, "interest."

What is the cost of debt?


Everything we buy has a cost, and when we take out a loan, we are buying the use of the money for usually a set period (known as the loan's term). Therefore, when we borrow money, we should think of the transaction just like we think about any other purchase we make.

So, what is the cost of that purchase?

The cost is the interest charged.

All things being equal, none of us would usually want to pay more than we have to pay for anything we buy. Purchasing a loan should be no exception.

But here's the great thing. The cost of a loan, unlike almost any other purchase, can be lowered even after you've received the amount borrowed and have signed all the paperwork.

And lowering the cost does not require the approval of the seller, i.e., the lender!

Try lowering the cost of a car after you've bought it!

Further, if you can lower your ongoing borrowing costs, you'll frequently save more than just money - you'll very likely also save time. That is, it won't take as long to pay back the loans as it would when the costs are higher.

Saving time means you'll be able to take your interest savings and either invest it sooner (thus giving your investments more time to grow) or put them toward another purchase.

How do I lower my debt costs even after the loan papers are signed?

Ron and Amanda
Ron & Amanda — DYI Debt Free Planners

At a high level, you'll need to take four steps to lower your loan costs.

  1. Understand your current debt situation fully.
  2. Review the different debt reduction strategies.
  3. Decide on a plan to follow.
  4. Follow the plan.

Fortunately, this debt calculator will make three of the four steps relatively easy. Unfortunately, it can only go a little way in helping to make the fourth step easier. You'll still be responsible for making the payments on the revised plan!

What the calculator can do however is create for you one payment schedule showing all the debts with the payments paid on their respective due dates.

I don't believe there is any other calculator on the net that will do that for you.

Ready to get to the meat?


Let's take a look at what Amanda and Ron's loans will currently cost them.

1. Understanding Your Debt Situation

Before Ron and Amanda can start using the calculator, they need to gather together information about all their current loans. To do this, they work from the most recent statements provided by each lender. (Of course, you'll need to do the same.)

debt entry screen
Fig.1 - Debt entry screen. Use "Previous" and "Next" buttons to navigate and calculate.

Note, for this exercise; it is never necessary to know the original loan amount. This task is all about understanding the present, not the past.

As you can see from the initial entries in the calculator, Ron and Amanda have entered their current debt details on the tab page labeled "Debts."

Please note a few details about the list of debts....

For most loans, the "Minimum Payment Due" and the "Current Payment" will be the same amount. That is typical for student loans, car loans, and mortgages. It's ok not to enter minimum payment amounts. They aren't required. Nonetheless, you may want to do so for reasons we'll discuss later.

Like "Minimum Payment Due," "Minimum Payment Percentage" is not required either. In fact, most loans won't have a "Minimum Payment Percent." The borrower will be expected to pay a specific amount due.

The primary exception, of course, is credit cards. Credit card issuers state a "Minimum Payment Percentage" because credit card balances can, and often do, fluctuate considerably, and therefore, it's not practical to declare an absolute minimum amount.

For other details about the debt list, scroll down and see Pointers on using the Ultimate Debt Calculator.

With the debts entered, Ron and Amanda can see their complete debt picture - all in one place - on the "Current Payback" tab.

The "Print Preview" provides a summary of the details in the report's header. Their total outstanding debt is $108,250, and they are making payments that currently total $1,757 a month.

Following their current payment plan, they will have their debts paid off after 9 years and 2 months (or 110 months).

They will pay a total of $134,855 in principal of which $26,605 will be cumulative interest on all the loans.

current payoff analysis
Fig.2 - Current payoff details from analysis page.

Let's see what they can do to lower their loan costs.

That is, can they make their debt purchase cheaper, even though the paperwork is signed and they have received the loan proceeds?

Of course they can. And you can too!

To learn how much Ron and Amanda can save, we'll take a look at multiple debt reduction strategies.

2. Reviewing Debt Elimination Strategies


Even if you decide to make no changes to your current payback plan, I think that you'll agree, the debt calculator will give you a comprehensive understanding of the different payback options.

There are four distinct methods we will present for lowering borrowing costs.

Debt reduction methods
Fig.3 - Debt reduction methods.
  1. Extra principal payments
  2. Loan Consolidation
  3. Rollover reduction techniques, including
    • Debt Snowball.
    • Debt Avalanche.
    • Shortest to longest term.
    • Freelance Method.
  4. Meet a Goal

In addition, you can review two more methods:

  1. Rollover with extra payments
  2. Loan consolidation with extra payments

Making extra principal payments perhaps is the most commonly known way to save on interest charges so we'll discuss it first.

A. Making Extra Principal Payments

What are additional payments and why does making them save the borrower money?

Extra payment options
Fig.4 - Extra payment options.

Let's look at Ron's auto loan with a balance of just over $12,000 at an annual interest rate of 10%. If Ron decided to pay an additional $100 the $100 is used to reduce the principal balance.

This means the next interest calculation is on a lower balance than it otherwise would have been had the additional $100 not been paid. Thus the interest portion of the payment is less and more is applied toward principal, which lowers the balance even more.

Yes, it is true, that the amount of interest saved is very tiny at first (in this case, less than $1). But by making even one extra payment, the interest owed is reduced for every future payment.

On the other hand, if the borrower keeps making the extra payments, the interest savings continues to increase as the principal gets paid down faster.

The debt calculator supports three ways of making extra payments.

On the "Extra Payment" tab under "Debt Reduction Methods," you can enter an additional payment amount that is applied every month, or you can plan on paying extra amounts in particular months for varying values if you wish.

When you use the options on the "Extra Payment" tab, the extra payments are applied to the debts in "Priority" order as set in the debt list.

The third way to incorporate an extra payment into the debt reduction plan is to increase the "Current Payment" amount. That gives you complete flexibility to apply the extra payment to whatever debt you wish. And it is also a way to apply an extra payment to just one loan - that is, the extra payment does not roll over to another loan when the selected loan for the extra payment is paid off.

The disadvantage to incorporating the extra payment into the results this way, is you'll need to run the calculation first without the additional amount and then again with it. Then you'll need to calculate the interest saved by hand by noting the difference in the total payment on the "Current Payback" tab.

B. Loan Consolidation

Loan consolidation can potentially offer borrowers a large savings.

Loan consolidation is when the borrower takes out a new loan to pay off an existing debt or debts that have a higher interest rate.

loan consolidation options
Fig.5 - Loan consolidation options.

The debt calculator supports three consolidation options:

  1. The new loan is for the full amount of all the debts. If you are looking to save the most interest on your debts, you should only select this option IF the consolidation loan's interest rate is lower than all the interest rates for all the debts.
  2. The new loan is for the full amount of all the debts with an interest rate equal to or higher than the consolidation loan. This is normally the best option.
  3. The new loan is for a random amount not equal to any specific debts or sum of debts. The calculator pays off the highest interest rate loan first and continues until the consolidation loan is fully applied to the debts.

For maximum savings, you must continue to pay the same monthly payment you had been paying even though the new lower interest rate loan does not require you to do so.

If your consolidation loan replaces two loans, sum their payments and enter them into the "New Payment Amount" input.

Where can a borrower get a consolidation loan?

There are two conventional sources:

First, if you have equity in a home, one source of funds for loan consolidation with usually a low-interest rate might be a home equity loan. If you consider this option, please understand the risks as it beyond the scope of this post to discuss them here.

A second source is to shop for a credit card with a lower interest rate. Or better yet, check the credit card you already have. Perhaps one has a lower interest rate. If so, you can transfer loan balances to the more economical rate card.

Loan consolidation can save interest charges. However, it does require some work on the borrower's part. First, you have to shop for a new loan, and then you have to apply for the loan which may require filling in a loan application and waiting for loan approval.

Nonetheless, the savings can be substantial and well worth the effort.

Let's look at an interest reduction method that requires absolutely no work by the borrower.

C. Rollover Payment Methods

Rollover payment methods are unquestionably my favorite way to efficiently pay off debt and to save money.

debt rollover methods
Fig.6 - Debt rollover methods.

These are the methods that require no change in a borrower current behavior assuming that the borrower pays their loans on time and in full.

The rollover principal is simple. You pay your loans each month as they come due. But, after a loan is paid off, rather than paying less in loan payments the next month, you keep paying the total amount you had been paying by adding the paid off loan's payment amount to another debt's payment.

There are several ways to do this:

Debt Snowball Technique has been popularized by Dave Ramsey. You can read the details here. However, to summarize, the method dictates that the borrower pays the maximum amount they can afford to pay on the lowest balance debt while paying the minimum payment they are allowed to pay on all the other debts.

The lowest balance debt is paid off first, giving the borrower a sense of accomplishment, and the payment is rolled over to the next higher balance. The process repeats until all balances are paid off.

The debt snowball rollover and the resulting savings are automatically calculated for you using the current payment amounts you've entered in the debt list. If you are making payments higher than the minimum amount for any loan aside from the loan with the shortest term, you should adjust the current payment to equal the minimum payment and add the extra you had been paying to the shortest term loan.

That is if you want to follow the snowball method to a tee.

The choice is yours.

Debt Avalanche Technique is like all rollover methods - the borrower pays the same total loan payment month-to-month.

With this method though, the borrower pays the maximum affordable payment to the debt with the highest interest rate first, and the minimum amount to all other debts. If there are loans with shorter terms and lower rates, as they are paid off, their payments will rollover to the loan with the highest interest rate.

Again, the calculator makes the rollover calculation automatically. You can see all the details with exact payment dates and amounts on the "Debt Reduction Results" tab.

Shortest term to longest requires that the maximum amount available be paid to the loan with the fewest number of remaining payments and the minimum payment amount to the other debts.

Freelance method this is where you are in complete control. The calculator rolls the payments over in the priority order that you have set in the debt list.

If you want to get rid of a loan with a small balance first and then pay the most to the loan with the highest interest rate, just set the priority in that order.

The loan with priority one is the highest priority followed by two, three, etc.

D. Meet a goal method

You are entirely in the driver's seat with the "Meet a Goal" method.

Look at your current payment schedule and see when the last payment is due. Then pick a date that you want to be debt free that is earlier than the final payment date.

meet a goal method
Fig.7 - Meet a goal debt reduction. Calculates each loan's payment amount so that loans are all paid off on the same date.

The calculator will recalculate all the payments to have all loans paid off by your goal date. When your goal date is earlier than the anticipated payoff date, you'll not be borrowing the money for the length of time initially expected, and thus you'll save interest charges.

Now that you understand the different debt reduction techniques available to you, let's look at Ron and Amanda's current debt and see just how much they can save and which method they should follow.

3. Deciding on which strategy to follow.

Debt Calculator list of current debts
Fig.8 - Ron and Amanda's debt list showing their original extra payment allocation.

Ron and Amanda have itemized their debts and reviewed their current payback plan. They have learned that their total debt is just over $108,000 and that they will pay $26,605 in interest charges until the loans are paid off in 2027.

Payment schedule showing current debt free date
Fig.9 - Current remaining payoff totals and debt free date (results will vary depending on run date).

Amanda and Ron are intrigued by the various rollover methods.

They decide to compare their current payoff plan to the Debt Snowball method and the Debt Avalanche method.

Notice, however, they are paying extra on both their student loans and their credit card balance (the payments are above the minimum). They had heard that making additional payments on a loan is a good practice and that it will save them interest.

When including these extra payments, all loans will be paid off in 110 months, and the total interest comes to $26,605 (see "Analysis" tab or "Current Payback" tab).

Optimize all extra amounts going to one loan either lowest balance or highest rate

optimized payments
Fig.10 - Optimized payments. All set to minimum payment with any extra added to highest interest rate (VISA) loan.

Now that they know the facts, it is time to decide on a plan and to follow it.

4. Following the new plan

The debt avalanche save our borrowers the most money, so that's the plan they decide to follow.

debt avalanche summary
Fig.11 - Debt avalanche summary shows nearly $6,000 in interest savings.
This is accomplished with no change to the total payment amount.

Ron and Amanda are highly motivated to adopt this new payment plan. To help keep them on track, and to have a way of checking that the lenders are correctly allocating the payments between interest and principal, Ron uses the calculator to print their personalized debt reduction schedule.

This calculator just may be the only one on the internet that is capable of creating (and allowing users to print) a single schedule, with exact due dates, for multiple loans.

Pointers on using the Ultimate Debt Calculator

  • Loans DO NOT have to be entered in the debt list in priority order.
  • Pay attention to the checkboxes on the "Debt Reduction Methods" tabs! Make sure the method you want active is active.
  • Use the [Next] and [Previous] to move through the steps. Using the buttons rather than the tabs assures that calculations are completed in the correct order.
  • Don't use the [Delete Row] button to delete a debt if you want to do a new analysis less one debt. Rather, set the priority to "0". The calculator ignores all debts with a "0" priority.
  • The extra payments are applied in the debt's priority order. If you entered your debts and numbered them from 1 to 5 (1 is the highest priority and five the lowest priority, and you want to change the order so that four is ahead of 2, renumber debt 4 to 1.5. And a gap between 3 and 5 is ok.
  • Like almost all calculators on this site, this calculator is date sensitive. It is possible to do a calculation one day and get one result and then do a calculation with the same debt details on another day and get a different result. That is NOT a bug. I suggest you print your "Debt Result Schedule" from the print preview to save for reference.
  • If you see a relatively small difference in interest calculations from what the lender calculates, try a different compounding frequency. Otherwise, leave it set to "Monthly."
  • Not that it's likely to make a huge difference, the balance you enter should be the balance immediately after the last payment. Or it should be the balance as of the date one month before the next payment due date. The first payment for any debt will always follow "today."
  • Make sure to include only the portion of the payment amount going toward the loan. If, for example, one debt is a mortgage, do not include the amount that may be going toward insurance or property taxes (escrow).

Wrapping it up

As I mentioned from the outset, anyone with multiple debts can potentially benefit from studying and selecting one of the above debt reduction strategies.

After all, what consumer does not want to save money?

However, if you believe that you have excessive debts or are otherwise in financial trouble, please consider contacting the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and ask about speaking with an NFCC certified credit counselor. The NFCC is a nonprofit organization.

debt analysis page
Fig.12 - Comprehensive debt analysis page.

15 Comments on “Debt Calculator”

financial online calculator Join the conversation. Tell me what you think.
  • By my logic, snowball and avalanche are ok, but there seems to be a better option, especially with forward loaded loans:
    wouldn’t paying the “more then the minimum” on the loan with the MOST interest remaining to be paid, period, save MORE than the other two?
    It loses a little in psychological satisfaction AND would require to be calculated often (every month probably) as downsides.
    It’s not terribly useful if you are 25 years into 20 year amortized loans, but if you are EARLY in any amortized loan the compound effect that takes into account both the RATE and the TERM seems to be far more valuable, no?
    Am I missing something?

    • A person is going to save more by prepaying the highest interest rate debt first. Take this example, a $400,000 mortgage @5% with 200 payments remaining vs a $10,000 credit debt @18% with a $300 a month minimum payment. Obviously, the mortgage has the higher total interest due for out of the next 12 payments, the interest portion will be close to $20,000.

      But here’s why paying the higher interest debt first saves money.

      Say this borrower had $100 a month more they could spend. If they put the $100 toward the mortgage on May 1 that will save them $0.42 after one month i.e. $100 * (5%/12) = 0.42. But if the $100.00 is applied to the credit card, that will save the borrower $1.50 i.e. $100 * (18%/12) = 1.50.

      The point is the savings are calculated on the amount the principal is being reduced by.

      Hope this helps to clear things up.

      • Thanks for the reply! love the site!

        “the most interest remaining” is the wrong way to express what I mean. you are correct.

        But I’m still seeing a better way (it’s in Thot 2 below):
        multiple debts, and extra $100 to throw in.
        but judging SOLELY on higher interest, you miss out on the compounding effect of paying long terms early:

        one mortgage A with 50K remaining at 5% with 10 years remaining to pay
        one mortgage B with 50K remaining at 4% with 30 years remaining to pay

        Highest rate would tell you to paying that $100 towards A. But you would net more savings paying it towards B, no?
        The TERM remaining needs weighed against the rate, especially with forwarded loaded amortization.
        even more extreme, sometimes paying that very early-in, long term loan at a paltry 4% might STILL make more sense on a month to month basis than even paying that ARP 18% CC with a $500 balance (because it’s only 1.5% THIS month – will need checked again next month tho).

        am I missing something there?

        • Hi Drew, you’re welcome, and glad you like the site.

          I see what you are saying, but here’s the thing, for each month, if a borrower wants to maximize the savings over the course of paying back all the debts, they should still pay the "extra" toward the highest interest rate loan. If that loan happens to be the shorter term, then keep paying the extra toward the next higher rate loan. This is where the "compounding" effect would come in.

          So maximize the savings each and every payment period will result in the fastest payback and the greatest savings. The key is to eventually roll those savings into other loans as the higher rate loans are paid off even earlier.

  • thot 2:

    I have 4 amortized loans, 2 CC and 1 Line of Credit.
    IF I want to pay “extra” towards the ONE option that will net the most “savings” each month – is there a way to see the “total interest” paid difference to add ONE payment ONE time?
    (right now I think I would have to add my additional amount to EACH debt, one at a time to see the difference BUT even then, I don’t see how to enter a ONE TIME extra payment?
    add it to “extra payment” and it becomes every month (and then rolls over) or per month (but repeating every year and rolls over) OR back in Debts: Current Payment and then it’s assumed to pay that much EVERY time going forward but doesn’t roll over – right?

    Is there a way to add in a TRULY one time payment to see the difference between adding that to each debt vs no paying extra at all?

    • You are correct, this calculator will not allow the user to add just one extra payment.

      However, there are several calculators on this site that will let the user do that. The most flexible calculator is the Ultimate Financial Calculator. If you try it out, scroll down the page, and you’ll see a number of tutorials. Read through #1 to get a basic understanding of how the calculator works. There are also two tutorials dealing specifically with extra payments.

      The UFC will not amortize multiple loans in the same schedule, however. So you’ll need to make notes about the total interest for each scenario.

      As always, feel free to ask any questions. The UFC is unique for an online calculator.

  • Debbie Steele says:

    I cannot get any of the calculators to do an extra house payment per year made once a year, with a 30 year monthly loan expecting 12 payments per year and you make 13. I wanted to compare that to a bi-weekly payment plan, since many mortgage lenders will not do a truly bi-weekly plan.

  • Stanley Plecha says:

    Even after deleting the sample numbers and entering my own debt, I either get no results or results based on the sample debts. Am I doing something wrong or is this just a tutorial and I need to go somewhere else for the actual calcualator

    • This is the actual calculator.

      After you clear the debts and enter what you need, are you using the "Next" button? It is essential that users step through each of the steps. You can’t just go to the "Analysis" tab.

  • I am not sure if I’m doing something wrong, but on the debt snowball, the calculator wants to keep applying the largest payment to my next to last debt after it is paid and does not apply the extra payment to my last debt at all. I have 7 debts total in the system. My next to last is the 6th one I entered.

    • No one has reported any bugs or problems. However, this is the second most complex calculator on this site, and there could be a problem that no one has noticed.

      The only way I can check is if you send me the details of the inputs and settings (screen shots are ok) and I’ll take a look. You can send them to me via the email address on the contact page.

  • Michael Tranchina says:

    Hello Karl,

    I just found your site and want to compliment you on the work that you have done on these calculators. I love your attention to detail.

    I plan on purchasing your Windows product, but have a question on using your debt reduction calculators to determine the “best” method to pay off debt. Most of the time debt consolidation is driven by cashflow. In our case, we have 4 mortgages that are similar in size ranging from 3.25% to 4.65%…We have plenty of cash flow and about 25% of our debt total saved in cash, so we could pay off one mortgage today if we wanted to.

    I am curious, given our situation, from your experience, which debt reduction method is the most "efficient". Rather than look at all of the methods and do trial and error, I would like to narrow down my options to the method that works best if cashflow and cash on hand are not limitations.

    For someone who coded these calculators, I imagine you would have a good sense of how best to approach this question…

    Thank you and Happy New Year!

    • Hi Michael, thank you for the compliments. They are much appreciated.

      Since interest is the cost of borrowing, and you probably want to reduce your costs as much as possible, you should find that giving the loan with the highest interest rate the highest priority will result in the most "efficient" payback. Others might say that reducing the number of outstanding loans is the most "efficient" thing for them to do. In that case, they should give the loans with the shorter duration the high priority.

Comments, suggestions & questions welcomed...

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