Many factors go into determining the final loan amount for the purchase of a new or used vehicle. These factors include any manufacturer’s rebate, the trade-in value of your old vehicle less any outstanding balance, your down payment, etc. Once the loan amount is determined the interest rate and the term of the loan will be used to estimate your vehicle payment.
How Do I Calculate My Monthly Car Payment?
When trying to determine how much car you can afford, you’ll want to use an auto loan calculator with tax to determine the total costs of your car payments. Money Help Center has free calculators that can help.
Your car payment will depend on a few things you can control:
- Your Credit Score: Before shopping for a car, you’ll want to make sure you pay your bills on time and pay down your credit cards and other loans. Get a copy of your credit report, fix any mistakes and check your credit score. Knowing your credit score allows you to understand whether you qualify for a prime rate and also improve your score so you get the best bargain on financing.
- Your Down Payment and Trade-in Cost: The more you can put toward the car, the less you’ll need to borrow and the lower your monthly costs will be. By increasing the size of your down payment, you can evaluate how much you can save.
- The Price of the Car: If you can find a lower-priced car or get a discount, you’ll need to borrow less, which will keep your monthly car payments low.
- The Interest Rate and Terms of the Financing: Financing is based on several factors, including the offers made by dealerships and banks. Your financial situation will also have a direct impact on how much you pay for financing. You can shop around for financing at banks and financial institutions to save money. To reduce your monthly payment, you can also choose a loan with a longer term. However, this will increase the overall cost you’ll pay for interest.
Once you have your estimated monthly car payment, you can use this number in a few ways, such as to:
- Understand What You Can Afford: By considering different scenarios with a calculator, you are more prepared for a trip to the dealership. You’ll be less likely to overspend because you’ll see how even a few hundred dollars more can mean for the total cost of financing. By being informed, you’re in a better position to evaluate offers.
- See How to Make Your Car Affordable: By using the calculator on Money Help Center, you can see how a larger down payment or a different loan can make a car more or less affordable. This means you can take proactive steps before you shop to save money.
Be sure to check out the free and unbiased calculators at Money Help Center. We never ask you for your contact information or private information to send you your calculations. Instead, your car payments and other facts are displayed instantly in easy-to-understand and clear language, so you can make the best choices about your next big purchase.