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Car loan monthly payment calculator
Learn how much you'll owe each month on a new car loan.
How to use this car loan monthly payment calculator
- Enter the amount you want to borrow to buy a new car under Loan amount. This might not be the same as the cost of your car, since many lenders require a down payment.
- Write the amount of time you have to pay off your car loan under Loan terms (in years). If your loan term is in months, divide it by 12 first.
- Enter the interest rate you expect to pay on a car loan under Interest rate. If your car loan comes with fees, enter the annual percentage rate (APR) instead. If you’re unsure, you can quickly calculate your APR using the steps below.
- Hit Calculate.
In addition to your monthly payment, this calculator shows you how much you’d pay on your loan’s principal and total interest. The principal is the amount that you borrowed and should be equal to your loan amount. Total interest is the amount that you would pay on top of the principal — the cost of your loan.
How do I calculate my car loan’s APR?
To calculate your car loan’s APR, follow these quick steps:
- Add together the loan fees and total interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
- Divide that number by the principal of your loan. For example, if you will pay $3,000 in interest and fees for a $20,000 loan, your result will be 0.15.
- Divide the result by the number of days in your loan term. Using the previous example and assuming a five-year term, you would divide 0.15 by 1,825.
- Multiply the result by 365. For our example, this equals 0.03.
- Multiply that number by 100 to get the APR. For our example, this equals 3% APR.
I calculated my monthly payment. What’s next?
It depends on why you used this calculator. If you wanted to know your monthly payment on an offer from a lender, you might want to prequalify with a few more lenders to find out if you can get a better deal.
If you’re trying to figure out how much you can afford to borrow, use the loan amount, term and rate as a guideline for finding a car and a loan that you can afford. Some lenders require you to have a car picked out before you apply. But even if they don’t, it doesn’t hurt to visit a few dealerships to compare your options.
After you’ve found a car that you like, research lenders that are willing to finance the particular car you’re interested in buying — some have restrictions on models, makes and mileage if you’re getting a used car. You can get started by using our comparison table. Once you’ve found a lender you like, follow the lender’s specific directions to apply for an auto loan.
Other costs to keep in mind
Your monthly payment is only part of the equation. Keep these four factors in mind when deciding on a car loan:
- Down payment. Car loans typically require a down payment of up to 20% of the vehicle’s value.
- Fees. Lenders may charge origination, application and monthly fees that can add to the APR of your loan.
- Taxes. Make sure you include the sales tax in your loan amount when calculating your monthly repayments.
- Insurance premiums. On top of car loan payments, you’ll have to pay for insurance. Use our car insurance calculator to make sure both are within your budget.
Knowing your monthly payment can help you understand what kind of car is in your budget. After all, your monthly payment is the immediate cost you’ll have to deal with on a regular basis. If you can’t afford the monthly payments on the loan you need to buy a car, you probably can’t afford it.
Keep in mind that you might only be able to get a loan worth 80% of your car’s value. This means that you might be required to pay that 20% upfront as a down payment.
Ready to get an auto loan? Compare a range of car loan offers in our comprehensive guide.
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