General Loan Calculator

How to Calculate Your Monthly Loan Payment

By: Gerri Detweiler

There are lots of reasons why you might want a personal loan. Perhaps it's to consolidate some credit card debt, or for a home repair project and maybe you'd like to invest in a small business. Whatever the reason, it's important to know just how much that loan is going to cost you in the long run. That's where a loan calculator comes in.

A loan calculator is a simple tool that will allow you to predict how much a personal loan will cost you as you pay it back every month. It's quite simple: You provide the calculator with some basic information about the loan, and it does the math and spits out your monthly payment.

You need to be prepared to provide the following:

1. The amount of the loan along with any up front fees.
2. The term or length of the loan (meaning how long you have to pay it back)
3. The interest rate of the loan.

What’s Your Score?

Don’t assume your score is good (or isn’t) just because you have always paid your bills on time (or haven’t.) The only way to know whether you have a good credit score is to check. You can get your credit score free at This is a truly free credit score – no payment information is requested. In addition to the number, you’ll see a breakdown of the factors that affect your score and get recommendations for making your credit as strong as possible.

Test your credit IQ
How well do you understand credit?
Test your credit IQ
How well do you understand credit?

1. What percentage of your credit score is related to your credit utilization?

You are correct!
The correct answer is…
  • a) 10%
  • b) 15%
  • c) 30%
  • d) These factors have no bearing on your score whatsoever

2. True or False: If I improve my credit score, I can refinance auto loans and other debts to lower my monthly payments.

You are correct!
The correct answer is…
  • a) True
  • b) False

3. One a scale from 1 to 8, where 1 means very low and 8 means very high, how would you assess your overall financial knowledge?

Very LowVery High

4. Which are the three major credit bureaus that collect credit information about consumers?

You are correct!
The correct answer is…
  • a) Experian
  • b) Advantage
  • c) Equifax
  • d) TransUnion


You are credit savvy!
You can now check your
Experian credit score for FREE!

You could do better

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and learn how to improve it!
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What Can I Get With A Good Credit Score?

Some of the best credit cards — from rewards cards to 0% balance transfer offers —go to consumers with strong credit scores. You’ll find great credit cards for good credit here.

A good credit score can also get you a lower interest rate when you borrow. That means you will pay less over time. For example, if you’re buying a $300,000 house with a 30-year fixed mortgage, and you have good credit, then you could end up paying more than $90,000 less for that house over the life of the loan than if you had bad credit. So, in the end, it really pays to understand your credit scores and to make them as strong as possible.

The interest you pay for your personal loan will depend on your credit score and the information in your credit report. The higher your credit score, the lower you're interest rate will be, and the less you'll pay for your loan in the end. If you're not sure whether you have good credit you can use's free Credit Report Card for an easy to understand overview of your credit report along with your credit scores.