Our loan payoff calculator shows how quickly you can pay off the remainder of your loan and how much interest you'll save by increasing your monthly payment. It can also tell you what monthly loan payment you'll need to make in order to pay a loan off within a goal timeframe.

Sigh. Sometimes it feels like you’ll never pay off that big loan once and for all, particularly if you’re making puny monthly payments and crawling toward the finish line. But speeding the repayment process up is easier than you might think, and it’s surprising how much you can save in interest by paying off your loan just a bit faster.

Money Under 30’s motivating loan payoff calculator lets you test out different loan repayment scenarios to see just how fast you can eighty-six your debt.

Loan Payoff Calculator

How the Loan Payoff Calculator Works

To use the loan payoff calculator, you’ll start by entering two critical pieces of information: the remaining loan balance and the APR (interest rate) you’ll be paying. 

From there, you’ll have the option to calculate by monthly payment or calculate by payoff timeClick the bubble next to the one you want to tinker with first. 

Let’s take a look at each.

Calculate by Monthly Payment 

You can use the calculate by monthly payment option to find out what will happen if you increase or decrease the amount you repay on your loan each month.

For this example, start with the default loan amount and APR of $10,000 and 7% respectively. 

Next, select the calculate by monthly payment option. You’ll be asked to enter your expected monthly payment. Let’s enter $155. Then hit the calculate button.

The loan payoff calculator will display three results: 

  • Months to payoff. 81 months, in this case.
  • Years to payoff. 6.75 years.
  • Interest paid. $2,555.

Notice that this relatively low, $155 monthly payment results in a very high amount of interest paid over the life of the loan. $2,555 is over 25% of the $10K loan principal!

In this case, let’s say you make a decision to cut back on some monthly recreational spending and allocate more of your earnings toward repaying your loan. By increasing your monthly loan payment to $255, your payoff numbers start to look dramatically different. It will take you only 45 months to pay the loan off — three years less than the $155 monthly payment plan. And you’ll pay only $1,475 in interest during that time. That’s a savings of over $1K.

Calculate by Payoff Time

If your goal is to repay your loan by a certain date, you can instead input that timeframe to find out what monthly payment amount you’ll need to make to get there, and how much the adjusted finish line will save you in interest paid.

To do this, select calculate by payoff time. Your goal payoff period can be adjusted in 12-month increments.

You can also enter any extra monthly, one-time payment amount you plan to make in addition to your regular monthly payments. Just leave that blank if you plan to make your monthly payments only.

For this example, let’s enter a fairly aggressive 36 months for the goal payoff period. Then hit the calculate button.

The loan payoff calculator will display two results: 

  • Your estimated monthly payment will be $308.77.
  • The interest paid over that 36-month period will be $1115.72.

How to Pay Off a Loan Fast

You’re not a slave to the loan terms you originally agreed to. With a little number-crunching and research you can set yourself up to be debt free sooner than you think.

Retool Your Budget

Sit down with your monthly budget. What are some areas where you can cut back on spending a bit without sucking all the joy out of your life? The following small changes add up in a big way:

  • Ask your bank if they’ll waive any monthly fees associated with your checking account (approx. $5 monthly savings).
  • Research some alternative mobile providers to see if you’ve got the cheapest rate ($10 monthly savings).
  • Eat out one less time per week ($60 monthly savings).
  • Cancel any subscriptions, paid apps, or software you rarely use ($25 monthly savings).

Bingo. That’s $100 you’ve shaved off your budget that you can now allocate toward your loan repayment. Add that to your monthly repayment in the calculator above and marvel at how much faster you’ll repay the loan + how much you’ll save in interest overall.

Bump Up Your Income

No one likes to sacrifice their me time/free time. But putting in a few extra hours of work each week can be a total game changer for repaying your loan.

If you don’t already have a side hustle, think about getting one. It doesn’t have to be a tedious gig. There are tons of side hustle options out there that you might actually enjoy doing. Or you might elect to start freelancing some extra hours within the field you already work in, provided the contract with your full-time job permits that.

Ask for Better Loan Terms

Most borrowers accept their current loan terms as non-adjustable, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Your lender might agree to reduce your APR, particularly if your credit score has improved since you initially applied for the loan, or if you’ve since signed up for other financial products with the lender (like, say, a checking account or credit card).

A reduced APR is unlikely to shave too much off the total amount of time it will take you to repay the loan, but it could help you repay a month or two earlier. And more importantly, you’ll pay way less money to the lender overall.

Read more: Understanding APR

Refinance Your Loan

If your loan contains annoying clauses that prohibit you from increasing your monthly loan payment, making extra loan payments, or paying the loan off early, call up your lender to see if they’re willing to budge on those. It never hurts to ask.

If your lender is uncompromising, it’s time to look for greener pastures with better interest rates and more repayment flexibility. Check out other lenders that might allow you to refinance the loan, i.e., pay your current loan off via a new loan with superior terms.

Where to Get a New Loan

The best way to compare loan refinancing options is to use an online loan aggregator/lending marketplace. These platforms work with a wide variety of lenders and can display a number of loan terms to you simultaneously.

Three of the best platforms for loan comparison are Fiona, Monevo, and Credible.

Fiona

Fiona Vs. LendingTree: Which Is Better? - Fiona

Fiona is an aggregator that works to help you get quotes on both personal loans and on student loan refinances.

Fiona can help you to get a better rate by providing you with side-by-side loan quotes, where you’ll be able to do a direct comparison of the interest rates, fees, and terms offered by various lenders. This will eliminate the need for you to shop around, searching for the best deal. You can search for the most attractive offers on the platform, then Fiona will guide you through the application process with the direct lender.

Fiona is also completely free to use, and loan APRs and fees will be paid directly to the lender you choose to work with.

Try Fiona or read our full Fiona review.

Monevo

How to Pre-Qualify For A Personal Loan: How To Check Your Rate Without Affecting Your Credit - UPDATE - Monevo

Monevo optimizes your chances of getting a good rate by sourcing quotes from more than 30 different lenders. Best of all, the search is quick, with quotes provided in about a minute. Even before you input your information, you can take a peek at the typical rates being offered, with a list of participating lenders, rate ranges, and loan amount ranges offered directly on Monevo’s homepage.

If you see a rate you like, simply click “Continue” to progress to the loan application. You can request loans of up to $100,000, and for a wide range of purposes, including debt consolidation and student loan refinancing.

Monevo charges no fees, so any fees you end up paying will be charged by the lender you choose.

Try Monevo or read our full Monevo review.

Credible

Better Mortgage Review: Affordable Mortgages On An Easy-To-Use Platform - Credible

Credible is best known for student loan refinances, but they also offer personal loans. Much like Fiona, Credible is an online lending marketplace, enabling you to get quotes from multiple lenders. And those lenders include some of the biggest names in the personal loan and student loan refinance spaces.

The service is also completely free to use, and you can get side-by-side comparison quotes from multiple participating lenders by completing a simple online application. Once again, this method of obtaining multiple loan quotes is the single best strategy there is to help you get a better loan rate. You can review the offers by the lenders, then choose the one you want to work with.

Credible is so sure they’ll get you the lowest interest rate possible, that they’ll pay you $200 if you find a better rate elsewhere. Terms and conditions apply. 

Try Credible or read our full Credible review.

Don’t Forget the Origination Fees

Before applying for a new loan, there’s one other factor you should be aware of: Some personal loan lenders charge origination fees equal to between 1% and 6% of the amount you borrow. That means you may pay between $100 and $600 on a $10,000 loan.

But an origination fee shouldn’t automatically discourage you from considering a personal loan. For example, let’s say you have $10,000 in credit card debt with an average interest rate of 23%. That means you’re paying $2,300 per year in interest.

If you have an opportunity to get a personal refinancing loan at, say, 12% APR over 60 months with a 6% origination fee, then even though you’ll pay $600 for the origination fee, you’ll still save quite a bit of money compared to your current credit card debt.

The personal loan, with an interest rate of 12%, will cost you $3,346.4 in interest charges over the 60-month term. Even if you add the $600 origination fee to that, the combined cost is still dwarfed by the $6,914 you’d pay in interest by keeping the balance on the credit card and gradually repaying it over the same 60-month period. 

Translation: Don’t let an origination fee scare you away from taking out a personal loan. Crunch the numbers, compare them with what you’re paying on your current debt, and go forward if it will save you money.

Loan Payoff FAQs

Is It Better to Pay Off Debt or Save?

If you don’t have a solid emergency fund — i.e., an easily accessible amount of savings equal to at least three months’ worth of your income — try to put as much money as you can toward establishing that fund while making at least the minimum payments on any debt you owe. After you’ve saved enough for a comfortable emergency fund, you should probably shift focus toward aggressively repaying your debt.

Most debt will be subject to a higher interest rate than the ROI you’ll get from money you save. That said, if your debt happens to be subject to a particularly low interest rate (lucky you), it might make sense to balance debt repayment while simultaneously contributing to, say, retirement accounts. If your debt is subject to only 5% interest, for example, you’ll probably outpace that with a balanced investing portfolio.

Can I Pay Off a Loan Early?

Your loan contract may include a prepayment penalty, typically around 1% to 2% of the loan principal, depending on how early you’d like to repay the loan.

Even when factoring in a loan’s prepayment penalty, it usually still makes sense to pay a loan off early. The interest you’ll save by cutting down your loan term likely exceeds the interest + prepayment penalty you would pay if you stick to the planned term. But if the penalty is egregiously steep, it might not be worthwhile to pay your loan off early.

If your loan does include a prepayment penalty, don’t pay it off before crunching the numbers. Use our calculator to test how much money you’ll pay in interest + the penalty if you pay it off early; then compare that to what you’re scheduled to pay in total interest with your regular loan term.

Summary

Using our loan payoff calculator might just give you that extra injection of motivation you need to pay off your loan faster and save a heap of dough in the process.

Play around with different monthly repayment amounts or repayment time frames to find a match that will work with your budget. Then contact your lender to see if your loan includes any clauses against early repayment. If it does, check the prepayment penalty against what you would save in interest by early payoff.

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About the author

David Weliver
Total Articles: 303
David Weliver is the founder of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues he faced during his first two decades as an adult. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.