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An installment loan is money you borrow in a lump sum and repay in fixed payments over a few months or years. An installment loan calculator can help you see how much those monthly payments will be.
Use this installment loan calculator to see your monthly payments based on the loan's interest rate and term.
How to use this calculator
Loan amount ($): Enter the amount of money you plan to borrow.
Interest rate (%): Enter your expected interest rate. Your rate is based primarily on your credit and financial profiles. Borrowers with good credit and little existing debt are likely to get the lowest rates.
Loan term (months): Enter the loan’s repayment term in months.
Start date (mm/yyyy): Enter the date you expect to make your first loan payment. This is typically 30 days after your loan is funded.
» MORE: Best installment loans
Installment loan calculator
How loan terms and rates affect monthly payments
Your interest rate and loan term directly affect how much you pay toward your loan each month. Here’s how:
Interest rate: A higher interest rate means your monthly payments will be higher and you’ll pay more in total interest. Many online lenders let you pre-qualify for a personal loan to find the lowest rate without affecting your credit score.
Term: Adjusting the loan’s repayment term will change your monthly payment, number of payments and total interest. A longer repayment term lowers your monthly payments but increases the total interest cost.
Types of installment loans
Any loan you get in a lump sum and repay in equal bi-weekly or monthly payments is an installment loan. The following loans are all examples of installment loans.
Unsecured personal loans are from $1,000 to $100,000 and have rates from about 6% to 36%. Loan terms are usually two to seven years, and payments are often made in monthly installments. Most personal loans don’t require collateral to secure the loan because the lender uses your credit and financial information to decide whether you qualify.
» MORE: Compare personal loans
Auto loans are usually for the cost of the vehicle you’re purchasing, minus your down payment. Rates are generally lower than personal loans and repayment terms can reach seven years, but NerdWallet recommends a term no longer than five years. With an auto loan, the vehicle is collateral, meaning the lender can take the car if you miss payments.
Home equity loans
A home equity loan is a second mortgage with a fixed interest rate. Loan amounts are usually up to 85% of your home’s value minus what you owe on the first mortgage. Repayment terms are typically no longer than 15 years. Your home is collateral for a home equity loan, meaning the lender can take it if you don’t make payments.
Buy now, pay later loans
“Buy now, pay later” companies offer low- or no-interest financing on purchases made in-store or online. These payment plans are structured as installment loans. The BNPL app effectively provides a small, short-term loan that you repay in four equal, bi-weekly payments, the first of which is due at the time of purchase.
» MORE: What is buy now, pay later?
High-interest installment loans
Some installment loans can have triple-digit interest rates, which makes them expensive and difficult to repay. These high-interest loans can be a few hundred dollars, but some lenders offer as much as $10,000 or $15,000. Repayment terms span from six months to five years.
High-interest lenders may not check your credit or review your income and expenses to determine whether you can repay the loan. Consider this type of loan a last resort when you’ve exhausted all other options.
Where to get a personal installment loan
Personal installment loans are available at banks, credit unions and online lenders. The best loan rates are reserved for borrowers with good or excellent credit (690 score or higher), high incomes and little existing debt, but you can still find installment loans for bad credit (scores below 630).
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