Loan payments can be hard to figure out sometimes, but the problems can be compounded when you’re trying to figure out how much a loan might cost you per month before you actually apply for it. Interest calculations and mathematical formula tend to be a bit confusing, especially if you’re just trying to figure out whether you can afford the monthly payment on a new loan. Luckily, there is an easier way to get the numbers crunched… simply use an online loan calculator.
What is it?
If you’re not sure what an online loan calculator is, it’s simply a small program or script on an internet page that lets you place the appropriate numbers into designated boxes and press a button so that it processes the complex formula for you and gives you the answer that you’re looking for. This way you can spend your time comparing different loans instead of trying to decipher the mathematics behind them.
Finding a Calculator
In order to find an online loan calculator, you usually only need to consult your preferred internet search engine. If you do a simple internet search, several pages worth of results should appear. The only problem with this is the fact that not every page that is offered as a result is going to be what you’re looking for, and some pages might actually be fronts for e-mail or personal information gathering.
If you open a page and it asks for your e-mail address or any other identifying information, close the window immediately; there is no reason for you to have to fill in any forms about yourself to simply use an online calculator. Keep in mind that there are a multitude of websites that offer these services for free, and there’s no reason to potentially open yourself up to an increase in spam e-mail, additional junk mail at home, or possibly even attempts at identity theft.
What You’re Looking For in a Calculator
Depending upon what type of loan you’re considering taking out, you may have specific needs for an online loan calculator. Just because one calculator is very good at determining payments on 30-year mortgage loans doesn’t mean that it will help you out with a 6-month unsecured loan, and the same is true of short-term calculators and long-term loans. Ideally, you’re going to want to find a page that offers an online loan calculator designed specifically for the type of loan that you’re wanting to take out.
If you can’t find a specific calculator that’s designed for your loan type, then you should take some time and try to find one that’s versatile… look for one that has different options depending upon the type of loan you’re considering, or try to find a web page that offers several different types of calculator depending on the circumstances of the loan.
Simple and Complex Calculators
Of course, not all online loan calculators are created equal. Some online loan calculators simply do basic calculations, leaving you to figure out the rest… others simply ask you for a few figures and can compute compounded interest, mortgage balloon payments, and a variety of other calculations.
Take the time to understand the abilities and limitations of each calculator that you find, so that you’ll be able to better determine whether or not a specific calculator will be able to assist you with your financial needs.