Use this calculator to compare your current loan to a new loan. It tells the difference in payment amount, number of payments, and total cost.
This calculator works for student loans, mortgages, credit card debt, just about any type of loan.
- Balance - how much you currently owe.
- Monthly Payment - your current minimum payment.
- Interest Rate - the interest rate on your current loan.
- New Loan Refinance Amount - how much you want to refinance, typically the current balance, but you can adjust if needed.
- New Loan Interest Rate - the interest rate for your new loan, you want this to be as low as possible.
- New Loan Term - how many years the new loan will last for.
- Refinance Cost - what the bank will charge you to get into the new loan, common when refinancing a home.
The goal with refinancing a loan should be to:
- Lower your interest rate! That will lower your payment and also very importantly save you money over the life of the loan (since less is going to the bank).
- Lower your total out of pocket for the life of the loan! This is computed in the bottom right corner of the results table. A green value is good, meaning you will save money overall with the new loan. A red value means the new loan is costing you money.
Things to consider when it comes to loan refinancing:
- A lower monthly payment is often a positive benefit of consolidating several loans into one, but it may come with a longer term and higher total interest costs.
- Avoid increasing the duration of a loan (which lowers the payment) just so you can afford to borrow more. For example, going with a 7 year loan on a car just so you can make the payment 'work'. A longer loan term will make the payment less, but it will drastically increase the total cost of the loan. Each month the clock is ticking on the interest. The bank likes it that way. The longer the duration of the loan, the more that clock ticks. The only time a longer duration loan makes sense is if you are allowed to pay ahead on the loan without penalty, and you plan to pay ahead regularly.
- Shop around for the best interest rate. Banks will compete for your business based on your credit rating and how much you are borrowing / refinancing. Some will have poor offers, others will be hungrier for your business. This calculator will tell you the amount you can save by getting the best rate.
- If you are able to consolidate loans into a home equity loan or line of credit, you may be able to get a tax deduction on the interest.
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