Loan Comparison Calculator
Determining which loan provides you with the best value involves more than simply comparing monthly payments. Use this calculator to sort through the monthly payments, fees and other costs associated with getting a new loan. By comparing these important variables side by side, this calculator can help you pick the loan that works best for you. Click on the "View Report" button to see the results in detail. The calculations provided below are strictly informational and should not be read as quotes on actual bank rates.
- Loan amount: The total dollar amount for this loan.
- Interest rate: The interest rate on this loan.
- Loan term: The number of years over which you will repay this loan. The most common terms are 15 years and 30 years. If this loan has a "balloon" payment, the loan term will be shorter than the number of years to amortize the loan. For example, a loan with a 5-year term amortized over 30 years will have the same monthly payment as a 30-year loan with the same interest rate. The difference is the 30-year loan will have equal payments for 30 years. The 5-year loan will have equal payments for 5 years and then a very large, or balloon, payment for the remaining balance.
- Amortization: The number of years used in calculating the monthly payment. Loans that are amortized over a longer period than their loan term have a balloon payment. See "Loan term" for more information.
- Origination fee: The dollar amount charged as a loan origination fee, which is included in the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) calculation. For many loans a 1% origination fee is common. For example: a 1% fee on a $120,000 loan would cost $1,200.
- Commitment fee: An upfront fee included in the APR calculation.
- Other fees: Fees included in the APR calculation. These fees can vary by lender but, at a minimum, usually includes prepaid interest.
- Other costs: Any other costs that should be included in the APR calculation.
- Monthly loan payment: Monthly principal and interest payment (PI).
- Annual percentage rate (APR): A standard calculation used by lenders. It is designed to help borrowers compare different loan options. For example: a loan with a lower stated interest rate may be a bad value if its fees are too high. Likewise, a loan with a higher stated rate and very low fees could be an exceptional value. APR calculations incorporate these fees into a single rate. You can then compare loans with different fees, rates or different terms.
- Balloon payment: This is the total final payment for all loans that are amortized over a period of time longer than the loan term. The balloon payment is total interest and principal balance due at the end of the loan term. (If the loan term is the same as the amortization, this amount is always zero.)