Top 10 Car Loan Payment Calculators

Calculators for Car Loans
Getty Images/Matt Cardy

Lots of car loan payment calculators are available on the web. They can be extremely helpful when deciding if a particular vehicle will work for you. Most calculators complete the same task but some are definitely more efficient than others. If you visit a certain website more frequently than others, it is often the best choice for you because for one you are already there and for two you are familiar with the site's design.

If you are never on financial resource sites, this top 10 list of car loan payment calculators should be very helpful.

Standard information you will need to know to calculate your car loan payment:

  • Auto loan amount
  • Length of the loan
  • Interest Rate
  • Start date of the loan

 

The Best of the Best Car Loan Calculators

  1. OnlineLoanCalculator.org – This is a standalone site which offers the cleanest interface. It allows you to factor in your current vehicle’s trade-in value and the new vehicle's sales tax. This site has you enter the length of the loan in years instead of months. It shows an annual amortization schedule which is handy to determine what you will still owe year after year. The total amount you pay for the vehicle over the term of the loan is also displayed. Beware of a couple of well integrated advertisements close to calculator.
  2. Bankrate.com - Probably one of the most popular financial calculators is Bankrate’s. It lets you figure in extra payments, shows the payoff date, and an amortization schedule. The extra payment feature is nice because it shows how just a little extra money each month can really cut the length of your loan.
  1. Cars.com – If you have not gotten hard numbers from a car salesman Cars.com has a helpful calculator. It lets you enter in your vehicle's trade-in value and sales tax separately. You can subtract your trade in value from the cost of your new vehicle and add in sales tax to calculate the amount you are financing or list them separately, it is up to you.
  1. Yahoo! Autos – Not sure what the sales tax percent is in your area? Yahoo! Autos determines sales tax by your zip code. It also lets you plug in rebates and trade-in value of your current vehicle.
  2. USAA – Want more options? USAA allows you to calculate your monthly payment or loan amount. Say you want a particular monthly payment. Plug in your preferred monthly payment amount along with other loan factors and this calculator will tell you the cost of the vehicle you should be looking for. It will help you stay within your monthly budget.
  3. State Farm – This one probably is not going to win any design awards but it is functional. It allows you to put in multiple numbers at the same time so you can compare side by side numbers. It also separates out how much interest you will pay over the life of the loan and the total cost of the vehicle including your loan interest.
  4. Nationwide – Are you a Nationwide insurance policy holder? They offer a simple calculator which includes the additional payment option. It can be convenient to use this calculator while you are already visiting Nationwide's website.
  5. Kelly Blue Book – This is the only calculator in the top 10 to include how much you owe on a trade in and the trade-in value. It is actually an important factor to include in your calculation. Unfortunately sometimes you owe more than your vehicle is worth. This calculator will do the math for you to help simplify the car buying process. Kelly Blue Book also calculates your monthly payment and total cost but only offers 60 and 72 month loan term calculations.
  1. Capital One – Lets you see their current interest rates and apply for a car loan. Of course an available interest rate is not necessarily the one you are approved for, so keep that in mind. It can help you get a more accurate loan payment calculation. This calculator also allows you to put in your preferred payment and see how much car you can afford.
  2. Try Your Credit Union or Bank’s Website – Look to your bank's website to offer a car loan payment calculator. Most calculators do complete the same task with similar efficiency. Convenience might make the best calculator. While you are shopping for a car loan look for a calculator.

Car loans are a very big commitment. Do not underestimate the importance of discretionary spending and an emergency fund. Car loans can easily use up those funds leaving you living pay check to pay check.

If at all possible, save some money ahead of purchasing a vehicle. Even if you leave the money in your account instead of using it as a down payment on your new car, you will be much better off in the long run.

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