Discipline and planning – yes, these are the two attributes that you need to keep in mind before applying for your next loan. Now, when it comes to vehicle financing, it's worth trying to learn every trick in the book as this will help you save money, settle the loan faster, and manage your income.
One such handy tool that can assist you with your budget, is our car loan repayment calculator.
So, what is its role in your car-buying process? Well, it calculates your monthly instalments based on some simple inputs such as the loan amount you seek to apply for, current interest rate, and loan term.
Here’s how our online car loan calculator reveals the results
After a few trials using different inputs, you’ll arrive at figures that match your budget and requirements. Estimating your repayments before going to the dealer will not only boost your negotiating power but also enable you to reach a suitable term, rate, amount, and down payment.
How can the car loan repayment calculator help me save dollars?
Look at the above example. Let’s assume I plan to take a $25,000 car loan at an interest rate of 6.5% per annum for a five-year loan term. My monthly repayment comes to $418 and I incur $5104 as total interest over the life of my loan. After checking my budget I decide that I can afford to put in a little more, say, $80 every month towards my car. So I reduce my term to four years.
The results will be somewhat like this:
Can you notice the difference? Not only do I reduce my term of loan, I save around $1038 in my total interest by paying only $83 extra every month.
You can play around with different numbers and finally arrive at one that suits you perfectly. Although you maybe a genius at math, sometimes crunching too many numbers can result in errors. Make sure you check all the numbers as small inconsistencies can reflect huge differences in your final results.
So, is that all? Can I proceed with my car purchase?
Umm, wait. Not so soon. Let me guide you through some other details before you take the final jump.
- When you enter your loan amount, just estimate any number you think will be sufficient to cover the cost of the car.
- While considering the loan term, remember that a shorter period means higher installments. And vice versa. However, the former reduces your total repayment amount in the long term.
- As for interest rate, always try to enter the prevailing comparison rate in the market. It helps you to arrive at the nearest correct estimate.
A car loan repayment calculator does help you figure out what your regular repayments will be. However, this is not sufficient. There are several other factors you need to consider. One of them is car loan set up costs.
A car loan comprises two major cost factors – interest and fees
The car-loan market is an ever-evolving one, with changing interest rates. Rates may be higher some years than the following years due to economic conditions.
The average rate in any particular year is derived from hundreds of varied offers. Therefore, do not settle at any particular number. Always shop around and see if you can get a better deal.
Even car loan fees change. It depends on the current market conditions and competition level. Here are some general types of fees that you might need to pay:
- Application fee
- Monthly account-keeping fee
- Redraw facility fee
- Late payment fee
- Early repayment fee
Other features that you need to factor in are:
- Age limit to applying for a loan
- Financial requirements (credit history and income)
- Availability of early, zero-cost repayment options
- Whether you are allowed to use the loan for a used car or not
Is there any specification about the type of car loans?
I knew this would be your next question! Reading minds is one of my specialties.
Yes, the type of car loan is another important factor to consider.
Car loans are classified into two types according to interest rate – variable and fixed. In the former, the lender can alter the rate any time during the term. With a fixedrate car loan, your bank cannot change the interest rate. You’ll be entitled to a steady rate for your complete term.
Another classification is that of a secured vs unsecured car loan. A secured auto loan means that you offer your vehicle as collateral to serve as guarantee. In case of a default on your instalments, the lender can repossess your car. With an unsecured
car loan, there is no scenario of any collateral. Therefore, they usually come with higher interest rates.
That’s it, right? So, how do I get a car loan?
Simple, follow these steps:
- Use our car loan repayment calculator so that you are in a better position to negotiate terms with the lender.
- Approach a finance broker. Brokers will give you expert advice and they have access to a wide panel of lenders.
- Finalise the type of loan you want to choose.
- Keep your documents such as proof of identity, income, savings, liabilities, and insurance ready.
- Assess your budget. This will depend on your income, asset bases, spending habits, and credit history.
- Decide on the type of car you want to buy. Choose from the various makes and models on offer. Also consider whether you want to go for a new or used car.
- Compare current interest rates, fees of different lenders, loan repayment schedules, and balloon payment options.
- In case of a second-hand automobile, get a report from the Personal Property Securities Register to check whether the vehicle on sale has a financial encumbrance (money owed by a previous owner).
Whenever you consider any purchase – be it a car, a home, or even minor household accessories – the first question you need to ask is, what is my affordability?
Once you are sure about your budget, you are likely to incur less of a dent in your cash reserves. Incorrect calculations of repayments or ignorance about bank balance can land you in financial distress. This is where our fuss-free calculator comes in handy.
Use it wisely, save substantial amounts, and pave your way towards a better budget that will only enhance your finances.
Whenever in doubt, please always seek advice from your accountant before entering any financial product.