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A title for these calculator results that will help you identify it if you have printed out several versions of the calculator.
The name of the loan's lender or credit card issuer.
Your required monthly payment for this loan. Leave it blank for credit cards unless you want to pay this amount each month regardless of what the minimum payment would be for this card.
Your current outstanding balance on this loan or credit card.
The current annual interest rate you are paying on this loan or credit card. For credit cards, you may actually have different interest rates for different balance amounts. This could happen if part of your balance came from a cash advance (many credit cards charge a higher interest rate and no grace period for cash advances), or if you made some purchases during a lower percentage promotion period, or maybe you transferred the balance from another credit card for a special low interest rate promotion.
For credit cards only - The minimum percentage (usually 2%-3%) of your outstanding balance the credit card issuer expects you pay each month. They usually calculate this for you and it shows up as the 'Amount Due' on your statement each month.
For credit cards only - The minimum percentage (usually 1%) of principal federal guidelines require you to pay each month. Your actual payment will be either just the 'Minimum Payment Percent' or the 'Minimum Principal Percent' plus interest and fees, whichever is greater. Enter 0 if your credit card is issued by a credit union or other issuer that is exempt from the 2006 federal guidelines.
For credit cards only - If your credit card has a balance and you're paying interest, there is probably a minimum amount of interest (usually $0.50 or $1.00) that will be charged for the month.
For credit cards only - The minimum amount (maybe $5.00) the credit card issuer expects you to pay each month, regardless of what the 'Minimum Percent Payment' calculates as. In other words, if the 'Minimum Percent Payment' (3%) calculation says you're obligated to pay $3.75 this month, your 'Amount Due' will actually be this amount ($5.00).
Add down the 'Balance' column.
The amount you are required to pay each month based on the loans you have entered. In the case of credit cards, where the monthly payment changes and no 'Payment Amount' has been entered for the loan, the first month's payment has been used and the strategy assumes you can continue to pay that amount each month.
The additional amount you will pay each month (over the 'Required Monthly Payment' amount) to eliminate your debt faster.
'Required Monthly Payment' + 'Additional Monthly Amount'. The elimination strategy assumes you will continue to pay this amount even when some loans are paid. The money from a paid loan will be used to pay the next loan even faster.
The month and year you plan to start using this debt elimination strategy. The amortization schedule (when grouped by month) will use this date to show you when and how much to pay on each loan.
Determines the order your loans will be scheduled for payoff. 'Highest Interest' almost always pays the least.
Select this priority to have the loan with the highest interest rate paid first. This is almost always the best option, paying the least interest.
Select this priority to have the loan with the lowest balance paid first.
Select this priority to have the loan with the lowest monthly payment paid first.
The month and year all entered loans will be paid off.
The number of years and months it will take to pay off all the entered loans. This is the 'Number of Payments' expressed in years and months.
You will make this many payments to pay off the entered loans above.
Total amount of principal (same as 'Balance Total') of the entered loans.
Total amount of interest you will have paid when the entered loans are paid.
Total amount of principal + interest you will have paid when the entered loans are paid.
When checked, a section will appear below the calculator showing the complete amortization table.