Personal Loan Calculator - NerdWallet (2024)

A personal loan calculator shows your monthly personal loan payments based on the loan amount, interest rate and repayment term. It also shows the total interest cost, with or without an origination fee.

Use this calculator to help you decide whether a personal loan is the right financing option for your plans.

How to use this calculator

  1. Enter a loan amount. Personal loan amounts are from $1,000 to $100,000. Borrowers with strong credit and income are more likely to qualify for large loan amounts.

  2. Enter your interest rate. Your personal loan interest rate is based primarily on your credit profile and financial information. Good-credit borrowers with low debt-to-income ratios often get the lowest rates.

  3. Choose a repayment term. Personal loans typically have repayment terms from two to seven years. A loan with a long term has lower monthly payments, while a shorter-term loan costs less in interest. Look for a repayment term that balances affordable payments and low interest costs.

  4. Add a repayment start date. This is the date your first payment is due. Many lenders require the first payment 30 days after the loan is funded.

  5. Include an origination fee (optional). An origination fee is a percentage of the loan that goes to the lender, usually1% to 10% of the loan amount. Not all lenders charge an origination fee. You typically learn whether you’ll pay one and how much it is when you get a loan offer.

How to read your personal loan calculator results

  • Monthly payment: The amount you pay the lender each month for the life of the loan. Part of each payment goes to interest and the rest goes to the principal.

  • Total principal: The amount you’re borrowing. It will match your loan amount.

  • Total interest payments: The amount you’ll pay in interest alone over the life of the loan.

  • Total loan payments: The loan principal plus the total interest cost.

  • Payoff date: The date you’ll make your final loan payment. Your start date and loan term determine the payoff date.

  • Amortization schedule: A table showing how each monthly payment is distributed between principal and interest.

Results for a loan with an origination fee

Lenders often subtract an origination fee before sending you funds, effectively reducing your loan amount. Your calculator results will vary depending on how the fee is applied.

Here’s how to read your results if you added an origination fee.

  • Cash received: The actual amount you receive.

  • Total principal: The loan amount with the origination fee included.

  • Total interest payments: The amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan. This number doesn’t include the origination fee.

  • Total loan payments: The loan principal plus the total interest cost. This number doesn’t include an origination fee.

  • Payoff date: The date you’ll make your final loan payment. Your start date and loan term determine the payoff date.

  • Origination fee: The fee a lender charges when you get the loan to cover processing and administrative costs.

  • Cost of loan: The interest rate plus the origination fee, which represents the full cost to borrow. This number doesn’t display if you enter a fixed origination fee amount.

  • APR: The annual percentage rate is the interest rate with the origination fee included. Without an origination fee, the interest rate equals the APR.

How to compare personal loan costs

Pay special attention to the monthly payment, total interest costs and interest rate or APR when comparing personal loan costs.

Monthly payment: On-time personal loan payments help you build credit, while late and missed payments hurt it. Loan payments should fit comfortably into your monthly budget.

Total interest payments: Looking at the total interest paid by itself lets you compare the cost of one loan to another, or use it as a gut-check to decide if the loan is worth it.

APR or interest rate: APR represents the cost of borrowing, making it the best apples-to-apples cost comparison tool. A lender is required to disclose this number before you get a loan. A personal loan’s APR is only different from its interest rate if there are other fees, like an origination fee.

What is a good personal loan rate?

A good personal loan rate is one that keeps monthly payments affordable and total interest costs low. The loan with the lowest rate is the least expensive.

Lenders determine your rate using your credit profile and history, income and existing debts.

Here are average personal loan rates for each credit score range.

Borrower credit rating

Score range

Estimated APR

Excellent

720-850.

14.21%.

Good

690-719.

17.00%.

Fair

630-689.

19.95%.

Bad

300-629.

22.20%.

Source: Average rates are based on aggregate, anonymized offer data from users who pre-qualified in NerdWallet’s lender marketplace from Dec. 1, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2023. Rates are estimates only and not specific to any lender. The lowest credit scores — usually below 500 — are unlikely to qualify. Information in this table applies only to lenders with maximum APRs below 36%.

» MORE: Best personal loan rates

🤓Nerdy Tip

Borrowers with poor credit may qualify for a bad-credit personal loan, however, you can improve your chances of qualifying and reduce your rate by getting a joint, co-signed or secured personal loan.

Next steps: How to get a personal loan

Once you’ve calculated monthly payments and interest costs, it’s time to compare loan offers and apply. Here’s what’s next:

  1. Pre-qualify. Many online, bank and credit union lenders allow you to pre-qualify for a personal loan. You give the lender some information about yourself, such as your name, income, desired loan amount and loan purpose, and the lender will do a soft credit check to determine what loan amount, rate and repayment term you may qualify for. Pre-qualify with multiple lenders to find the best offer.

  2. Compare lender features. The loan with the lowest rate and affordable monthly payments is typically the best loan offer. If you have multiple promising offers, compare special features to break the tie. Some lenders have credit-building tools,unemployment protection or fast funding.

  3. Submit an application. Accept your pre-qualified offer and fill out the lender’s formal application. At this time, the lender does a hard credit pull, causing your credit score to dip temporarily. Having documents ready that prove your identity and income, like W-2s and tax forms, can help move the application process more quickly.

  4. Get funded. If approved, most personal loan lenders can fund a loan within a week. Some say they’ll send you the money the same or next business day.

Other loan calculators

Debt-to-income ratio calculator: Determine your debt-to-income ratio, which is your total monthly debt payments divided by your income.

Debt consolidation calculator: Learn how debt consolidation works and calculate how much consolidating could save you.

Credit score needed for a personal loan calculator: See what personal loan options may be available to you, based on your credit score.

Personal loan refinance calculator: Use this calculator to see whether refinancing an existing personal loan makes sense for you.

As an enthusiast with a deep understanding of personal finance and lending, I can confidently break down the concepts used in the provided article about the personal loan calculator.

Key Concepts Explained:

1. Personal Loan Calculator:

  • A tool that determines monthly personal loan payments based on the loan amount, interest rate, and repayment term.
  • Provides insights into total interest costs, with or without an origination fee.

2. Calculator Input Parameters:

  • Loan Amount: Ranges from $1,000 to $100,000. Larger amounts may require strong credit and income.
  • Interest Rate: Primarily based on credit profile and financial information.
  • Repayment Term: Typically two to seven years. Longer terms have lower monthly payments, but shorter terms cost less in interest.
  • Repayment Start Date: The date of the first payment.
  • Origination Fee (Optional): A percentage of the loan amount (1% to 10%) that goes to the lender. Not all lenders charge this fee.

3. Reading Calculator Results:

  • Monthly Payment: Amount paid to the lender each month, part to interest and the rest to the principal.
  • Total Principal: The borrowed amount.
  • Total Interest Payments: The total interest paid over the loan's life.
  • Total Loan Payments: The sum of the loan principal and total interest cost.
  • Payoff Date: The date of the final loan payment.
  • Amortization Schedule: A table showing monthly payment distribution between principal and interest.

4. Origination Fee Impact:

  • Lenders may subtract an origination fee before disbursing funds, affecting calculator results.
  • Displays "Cash Received," which is the actual amount received after the origination fee deduction.

5. Loan Costs and APR:

  • Cost of Loan: Interest rate plus origination fee, representing the full borrowing cost.
  • APR (Annual Percentage Rate): The interest rate with the origination fee included. Important for accurate cost comparison.

6. Comparing Personal Loan Costs:

  • Focus on monthly payment, total interest costs, and APR or interest rate when comparing.
  • On-time payments impact credit. Total interest payments help compare loan costs.
  • APR provides an apples-to-apples comparison, revealing the full cost of borrowing.

7. Determining a Good Personal Loan Rate:

  • A good rate balances affordable payments and low total interest costs.
  • Lenders assess rates based on credit profile, history, income, and existing debts.

8. Average Personal Loan Rates:

  • Rates vary by credit score range:
    • Excellent (720-850): ~14.21% APR
    • Good (690-719): ~17.00% APR
    • Fair (630-689): ~19.95% APR
    • Bad (300-629): ~22.20% APR
  • Data source: NerdWallet’s lender marketplace (Dec. 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2023).

9. Next Steps - How to Get a Personal Loan:

  • Pre-qualify: Provide information to determine potential loan amount, rate, and term.
  • Compare Lender Features: Consider rates, monthly payments, and additional features.
  • Submit an Application: Accept a pre-qualified offer and complete the formal application, involving a hard credit pull.
  • Get Funded: If approved, funds are typically disbursed within a week.

10. Other Loan Calculators Mentioned:

  • Debt-to-income ratio calculator
  • Debt consolidation calculator
  • Credit score needed for a personal loan calculator
  • Personal loan refinance calculator

Understanding these concepts is crucial for making informed decisions when considering personal loans. Always consider your financial goals, credit profile, and the total cost of borrowing.

Personal Loan Calculator - NerdWallet (2024)
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