Personal Loan Calculator: How Much Money Can I Borrow?

Madison Baker
A calculator, a pen, and some cash are placed on top of financial documents.
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Use our personal loan calculator below to determine how much you’ll have to pay for your loan.

Loan Calculator
years
Monthly Payment $162.56
Total Interest Paid
$852.14
Total Paid After Term
$5852.14

Simply input the following values into the calculator:

  1. The amount of your loan;
  2. The interest rate of your loan;
  3. The amount of time you have to repay your loan.

With this information, you can see how much your loan will ultimately cost, including what you’ll spend on interest and how large your monthly payments will be.

Here are a few terms you need to know to understand your results:

  • Monthly payment: This refers to the amount of money you’ll have to pay each month for your loan. 
  • Loan term: This refers to the amount of time you have to pay back your loan. The term is often expressed in years, though some lenders may use months. 
  • Total paid: This refers to the total amount of money that you will spend on your loan, including the amount you borrowed and any interest charges you incurred. 
  • Total interest: This refers to the total amount of interest you will pay on your loan.

Keep in mind that this calculator is an informational tool that can help prepare you for the loan shopping and application process — it can’t guarantee that you will get a loan with these exact terms. 

How Much Loan Will I Qualify For?

It’s hard to say exactly how large of a loan you will qualify for. Personal loans come in all sizes. Some may be as small as $100, and others as large as $100,000. You should have an idea of how much you’d like to borrow before you apply, but that doesn’t mean you’ll qualify for a loan of that amount. 

Lenders take several things into account when considering you for a loan, including your credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and credit history. Further, each lender gives different weight to each of these factors, so the size of the loan you qualify for will vary from lender to lender.

What Will My Interest Rate Be?

Predicting the precise interest rate of your loan is similarly challenging, as rates differ from lender to lender. Each lender will consider your financial information differently to determine the appropriate interest rate for your loan. Multiple lenders could give you a loan of the same amount, but charge you entirely different interest rates for that loan.

Interest rates also change over time, depending on the current demand for loans. When many people want to take out personal loans, interest rates will be higher; conversely, when there is less demand for loans, interest rates will be lower. 

Generally, if you have a higher credit score, you’ll encounter lower interest rates. It’s one of the biggest benefits of having good credit, as you’ll save money on your loan. 

Even if you have a great credit score, it’s worth calculating the interest on your loan when you have more detailed information from a potential lender. 

What Other Fees Will I Have to Pay?

On top of interest, your lender may charge additional fees on your loan, such as:

  • An origination fee;
  • A processing fee;
  • Prepayment fees;
  • Late payment fees;
  • An exit fee.

Charging fees and interest are how banks make money. Like interest rates, the actual dollar amount of each of these fees may vary from lender to lender. You can avoid some fees entirely (such as late payment fees), but others (such as an origination or processing fee) are inevitable. 

When considering a loan, be sure to ask the lender about these fees. Even if you think you’ll be able to avoid some of them, it’s crucial to be fully informed about any potential fees associated with your loan, just in case things don’t work out according to plan.

How to Qualify for a Personal Loan

There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll qualify for a loan. Even if you’ve been pre-qualified or pre-approved by the bank, you still have to apply for the loan. However, if you have good credit, reliable income, and are otherwise financially stable, you’ll probably get approved for your desired loan.

Qualification isn’t just a simple “yes” or “no.” It’s about obtaining a loan with good terms — that means your desired principal, a low interest rate, and manageable monthly payments. There are loans available if you have bad credit or no income, but the terms of those loans may not be favorable.

If you have poor credit, you should take steps to improve it before applying for a loan to increase your chances of approval. If your credit is dire or you need faster results, you could benefit from pursuing professional credit repair services. It takes time and effort to repair damaged credit, so it’s best to start as soon as possible, especially if you’re already looking for a loan.

How to Find the Right Personal Loan

Like any other purchase, you should compare loans from a variety of lenders to find the best one for your needs. Look at loans from different types of lenders — including traditional banks, credit unions, and online banks — to see all available options. 

As long as you take care to avoid predatory lenders, you may be surprised to find a great loan at an institution you wouldn’t ordinarily consider.

Look beyond the principal amount of the loan while shopping. The details of the loan are equally important, if not more so, to the decision-making process. Be sure to get the following information for each loan you’re considering:

  • The interest rate;
  • All fees associated with the loan;
  • Restrictions on how you can use loan funds;
  • The loan term;
  • Qualification requirements;
  • Any perks associated with the loan.

The more information you can get about each loan, the better; it’s necessary to determine how this loan will factor into your current and future finances.

Consider Personal Loan Alternatives

Depending on what you plan to use it for, a personal loan may not be the right choice for your finances. You may benefit from one of these alternatives instead:

A Cosigner

If you have poor credit or a rocky financial history, ask a friend or family member to act as a cosigner on your loan. There are loans available for individuals with bad credit, but you can get a loan with better terms with the help of a cosigner. Make sure your cosigner is financially stable and highly trustworthy, as they will be responsible for your loan payments if you cannot make them.

Secured Loans

Rather than an unsecured loan, consider taking out a secured personal loan. This will require you to put up collateral — typically, in the form of a valuable asset, such as your car — to protect the loan. Lenders consider secured loans to be less risky, as they can take the asset if you fail to make payments.

Crowdfunding

Try asking for donations for your cause online. Many individuals turn to online crowdfunding platforms, such as GoFundMe, to raise money for their personal needs. It can be difficult to start gaining traction, but if you get the ball rolling, you can quickly earn a lot of money that you don’t have to pay back.

Nonprofit Organizations 

Reach out to a nonprofit organization for financial assistance. There may be a local group or community fund that is specifically designed to assist individuals facing your current challenge (such as paying off a hefty medical bill).

0% APR Credit Card

If you have a solid credit history, you can apply for a new credit card that has a 0% introductory APR. Cards with this promotional rate can last anywhere from six to 18 months. 

You could make a large purchase with your new credit card and slowly work to pay off the balance without accruing any interest charges. This is a highly useful strategy if you have an unexpected expense and it could be a better alternative to an emergency personal loan, especially if you have bad credit.

Friends and Family

You can always ask a loved one for a loan. This may be your only option for a quick loan with favorable terms if you’re experiencing any financial instability. You do have to be careful when mixing finances into your relationships, but as long as you can both agree, there’s nothing wrong with getting help from a friend or family member.

Taking out a personal loan is a serious commitment. If you go about it correctly, a loan can provide a useful boost to your finances. However, if you aren’t careful about making payments, it can devastate your finances for years to come.

Make sure you’re confident in your decision and prepared for the responsibility of a personal loan before you head to the bank.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

 

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