How to use this personal loan calculator
1. Choose your credit score range. For example, if your credit score is 740, you’re in the excellent range. If you don’t know your credit score, you can get a free credit score on NerdWallet.
2. Choose your desired loan amount, or how much you want to borrow. Typical personal loan amounts range from $1,000 to $50,000.
3. Pick a loan term, or how long you need to pay back the loan, ranging from 12 to 60 months. A longer loan term will result in lower monthly payments, but higher interest costs.
4. Hit calculate to see your results. Results are explained in detail below.
5. Click the “pre-qualify now” button to compare rates from multiple lenders before choosing a loan.
Understanding your loan results
Monthly payment: This is what you can expect to pay each month toward paying back your loan, based on the loan amount, loan term and your estimated rate. Monthly payments are lower when you choose a longer loan term.
Estimated annual percentage rate: This is the interest rate plus all fees, calculated on an annual basis and expressed as a percentage. Borrowers with higher credit scores typically receive lower APRs, but lenders may also take into account your debt-to-income ratio, among other factors. Most personal loans carry fixed rates, meaning your interest rate and payments won’t change over the life of the loan. The estimated rates included in our calculator are based on a survey of lenders in NerdWallet’s personal loan marketplace.
Total principal: This is the amount borrowed that you must pay back over the loan term, not including interest. Borrowers with good credit can usually secure higher loan amounts.
Total interest: This is the total amount of all interest payments you’ll make over the life of the loan. A borrower with a high credit score will likely pay less interest than someone with bad credit. The longer your loan term, the more interest you’ll pay.
How to pre-qualify
Most lenders allow you pre-qualify and see estimated rates without affecting your credit score. You can pre-qualify on NerdWallet by entering in basic personal information, including your employment status, annual income and Social Security number, as well as your reason for borrowing and requested loan amount. NerdWallet always recommends comparing rates from multiple lenders to ensure you get the least expensive loan.
Learn more about pre-qualifying for a personal loan, including how to boost your chances of approval and what to do after pre-qualifying.Before you shop for a personal loan