A personal loan calculator gives you an estimate of how much a loan might cost and helps you to see whether it would be an affordable option for you.
If you’re considering borrowing, it can be useful to put some figures into a loan calculator to get an idea of the costs involved.
Our loan calculator is free to use. You can use it to work out the amount you can afford to borrow, or to work out your estimated monthly repayments.
Calculate your loan repayments and what you could afford to borrow
How to use our personal loan calculator
We offer two free personal loan calculators, depending on whether you want to first estimate the amount you may be able to borrow, or the amount you might repay each month.
You can use our monthly loan repayment calculator to work out how much you would need to repay each month if you borrowed a certain amount.
Alternatively, our loan affordability calculator works out the size of loan you could potentially afford, based on your preferred monthly repayments.
With both calculators, you can adjust the repayment term and the annual percentage rate (APR) to see how this affects the amount you can borrow and your monthly repayments.
The results generated by the calculators assume that the interest rate is fixed for the whole loan term, and that you make regular payments each month.
How to calculate your loan repayments
To calculate the amount of money you would pay each month for a particular loan, make sure you click on ‘calculate monthly repayments’ on the calculator.
You then need to enter the total amount you want to borrow, the time you want to borrow it for, and the APR.
When you’re ready, you can press calculate to see how much your monthly payments would be based on the information provided.
The calculator will also show how much you would pay in interest and how much you would repay in total over the term of the loan.
How to calculate what loan you can afford
To see how much you can afford to borrow, click on ‘calculate what I can afford’ on the calculator.
You can then input the amount you can afford to repay each month, the length of your preferred loan term, and the APR.
By pressing calculate, you can get an idea of the size of loan you could afford to take out.
You will also see how much you would pay in interest and fees and the total amount repayable.
What is APR on a loan?
APR stands for annual percentage rate. It is a figure that tells you the total cost of a loan over the course of one year, taking into account the rate of interest plus any standard fees the lender charges.
Looking at the APR can make it easier to compare loans and credit options between lenders, minimising the risk of getting caught out by loans with low interest rates but expensive hidden fees.
The APR does not include extra charges, such as any early or late repayment fees.
Lenders must provide what is known as a representative APR. However, not everyone will necessarily be offered the advertised rate. Representative APR means that 51% of approved loan applicants will have this rate or lower, while the remaining 49% will get a different rate that will often be higher.
» MORE: What is APR?
Why should I use a loan calculator?
A loan calculator is a quick, simple, and free way to see whether a loan may be affordable or not. By inputting the amount you want to borrow, or the amount you can afford to repay each month, you can adjust the other variables to see what is realistically achievable and affordable for your situation.
Although an online loan calculator can only give you an indication of the size of loan you could afford, it’s not a guarantee that you could borrow this amount if you applied for a loan. It means you will be better informed before you decide to apply for a loan.
Does a loan calculator affect your credit score?
Using a loan calculator won’t affect your credit score. The results are based only on the information you put into the calculator and not from your credit history.
Your credit history may only be affected if you choose to formally apply for a loan. Lenders will perform a credit check as part of the application process to see how you have managed your finances and credit commitments, and this check will be recorded on your credit file.
Is a loan calculator the same as an eligibility checker?
Loan calculators are different to eligibility checkers.
While they can both give you an idea of whether you could afford a loan, a loan calculator can only act as a rough guide as it is based solely on the numbers you provide. It isn’t tailored to your individual situation and it doesn’t take into account your credit score.
However, when you use an eligibility checker, you will need to input some personal and financial details, such as your income, expenditure, employment status and contact information to get a more accurate and personalised estimate of which loans you qualify for.
The provider will also run a soft credit check. This check won’t appear on your credit history or affect your score.
Once you have completed the eligibility checker, you will be able to see whether you qualify for a loan and see what interest rates you could get.
Because the eligibility checker uses more personal information, you may find the results are different to those on a loan calculator.
You are not guaranteed to get the rate or loan quoted in the results of your eligibility check. However, if all the information you provided is accurate, you are likely to be approved if you choose to apply for the loan.
How to apply for a personal loan
You can check your eligibility and apply for a personal loan online. You will need to provide the lender with a range of information, such as your name, address and income.
Before applying for a loan, it’s a good idea to get your finances in order and to take time preparing your application.
You can use a loan calculator to indicate what size loan you might be able to afford but, to increase your chances of approval and to get the best rates, you need to make sure your credit score and application are as strong as possible.
It’s also worth comparing loans from different providers, as this could help you to find a loan that is most suitable for your requirements.
Check your eligibility for a loan before formally applying, as this won’t affect your credit score and it can show you how likely you are to be approved.
Loan applications involve a hard credit check which could affect your credit score, so you should only apply for a loan if you are confident of being accepted.
» MORE: Tips for applying for a personal loan
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