## Check Your Finances Before Making A Decision

Choosing whether or not you should get rid of your loan principal early depends on your financial situation. Check your budget first to make sure you have enough excess cash to devote to extra debt payments. If funds are tight at the moment, the excess money you have could better serve you in a savings account for the time being.

If your bills are covered and you have a nice sum of money spare, paying your car loan off early means youll have one less bill to pay *and* it can save you money on interest charges. But before writing an extra check or wiring additional funds each month, you should speak with your lender to see if there are any early repayment gotchas that you should be aware of.

**Ready to refinance your car loan?**

## What Happens To The Loan Principal When You Refinance

If you qualify for a car refinance loan, your new lender will request the payoff amount from your existing lender. The payoff amount is what the new lender needs to pay to close out the old loan. Once the balance gets paid off by the new lender, youll start making payments on your new loan. Essentially, your loan principal balance moves from one lender to another.

The process of auto loan refinancing has its own fees so you have to make sure the long-term savings will outweigh the cost. Car loan refinancing may not help you escape the prepayment penalty on your existing loan this fee might come into play if you pay your loan off early in cash or a lender pays it off early with a car refinance loan.

## How Does A Car Loan Work

###### How does a car loan work?

Monday, 11 November 2019

Americans love their cars.

In fact, more than 93 percent of U.S. households reported having access to at least one vehicle in 2017. That translates into about 275 million vehicles on American roads between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2019.

However, considering the average price of a new vehicle in 2018 was more than $36,000, not many Americans have the cash on hand to buy a vehicle. This explains why more than 85 percent of new vehicles in the U.S. are bought with loans.

Auto loans are fairly simple: you borrow money from a lender, which includes the principal, or the purchase price of the car, plus interest. You make monthly payments until the principal and interest are paid off.

But there are some important details about auto loans you should understand before you start test-driving and filling out loan applications.

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## Can I Make A Down Payment Or Trade

Some leasing companies will ask for you to make down payment towards the lease that will also lower your lease payments. The bigger the down payment, the lower your monthly payments will be. However, this does not necessarily save you any money in the long run. Usually a down payment is just divided by the number of months in the lease which then lowers the monthly payments by around that amount.

If you have the money up front and want to get that much out of the way for the future, it can be a viable option. The down payment is still taxable however, so check how that affects the monthly payments so you can see if it saves or costs you any money. Whether you prefer making a down payment or not will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances.

Alternatively, if you already own a car that you want to sell, you can trade it in to the dealer. It acts similar to a down payment, but uses your old vehicles value instead of cash you have to have saved up. You can then use the value of the trade-in to reduce the taxable leased amount you have to pay, which further reduces your monthly payment. This only works for a vehicle that you own, as you cannot trade in leased vehicles.

**Useful Tip!**

## How And When Do I Pay Car Loan Interest

Lets say you take out a car loan for $12,000 to be paid back over five years at an interest rate of 10%. Your monthly payments for this loan would be $254.96. You can calculate the payment yourself using the following equation:

It is a common belief that over the 60 months of such a loan that the borrower would pay down the loan principal evenly as the graph below shows.

The above graph incorrectly depicts the loan being paid down by $200 per month until the balance reaches $0. This graph would imply that for each payment $54.96 goes towards paying interest, because $254.96 minus $200 is $54.96. Car loan interest does not work this way.

The correct payoff graph actually looks like the following.

Notice how the payoff curve is bowed so that it is less steep at the beginning of the loan than at the end. The reason that car loans behave this way is that monthly payments at the beginning of a car loan include more interest charge than the payments at the end of a car loan. Lets look more closely at why car loans work this way.

For the second months payment, you will pay a slightly smaller interest charge, because the first months payment will have paid down the principal by $154.96. So, the second payment will include $98.71 of interest charge , and will pay down the principal by $156.26 .

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## How To Calculate Auto Loan Interest For First Payment

When figuring out how to calculate auto loan interest for the initial payment, the steps below can help:

The number you get is the amount of interest you pay in month one.

## Run The Numbers Carefully Before Rolling One Car Loan Into Another

It might make sense in the beginning: you’re trading in a car and still owe money on it. Why not just roll your current loan into the loan on the new car you’re buying? Because it could end up increasing your monthly payments and how much you’re paying for the new vehicle. You could even end up owing more on the car than it’s worth. Instead, consider selling your car, paying off your current loan and using any leftover funds to make a down payment on a new vehicle.

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## How Does Interest Work On Car Loans

Lenders may charge simple interest or precomputed interest on car loans. Heres how both of these work:

**Simple interest**is when the lender uses the amount of your loan balance the day your payment is due to calculate the interest. So if you only have $5,500 left to repay on a $20,000 loan, the lender will charge you interest on the $5,500 balance.**Precomputed interest**is when the lender calculates interest at the beginning of the loan term and charges interest according to that schedule no matter what your loan balance is.

Banks and credit unions tend to charge simple interest for car loans and not compound interest or precomputed interest.

**Compound interest** is when interest is charged on your principal balance *and* the accrued interest basically, its a double whammy. Interest compounding on a savings account is a good thing because your accrued interest earns interest. Interest compounding on a loan is not so good it means the interest you *owe* builds upon itself.

You may also see interest expressed as a percentage alone or a percentage with the three letters APR at the end. The interest rate by itself is the percentage you pay annually for the money you borrow. APR stands for annual percentage rate, and takes into account how much you pay for the amount you borrowed *plus* any applicable loan fees. Usually, the APR percentage is higher than the interest rate.

**Auto Refinance Calculator**

## What Is Car Loan Principal

Loan principal is the amount you originally borrowed from the lender for your car. Say you buy a car that costs $25,000 and you put down $5,000. Your loan principal at the start of the loan term would be $20,000.

**Car cost :****Down payment:****Starting loan principal:**

But the $20,000 in initial loan principal isnt all that you owe because borrowing money isnt free. Lenders tack on an interest rate to your loan which is how they make money.

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## No Permanent Resident Status

If you are not a permanent resident or citizen , youll be able to avoid paying your loan if you head back to your home country. The lenders ability to enforce repayment of the loan if you are not in the U.S will be limited. So not being a permanent resident essentially means you are a higher risk.

## Calculating Interest On A Car Personal Or Home Loan

These loans are called amortizing loans. The mathematical whizzes at your bank have worked them out so you pay a set amount each month and at the end of your loan term, youâll have paid off both interest and principal.

You can use an interest calculator to work out how much interest youâre paying all up, or, if youâd rather do it by hand, follow these steps:

**1. **Divide your interest rate by the number of payments youâll make in the year . So, for example, if youâre making monthly payments, divide by 12.

**2. **Multiply it by the balance of your loan, which for the first payment, will be your whole principal amount.

This gives you the amount of interest you pay the first month.

So for example, on a personal loan of $30,000 over a period of 6 years at 8.40% p.a. and making monthly repayments:

Because youâve now begun to pay off your principal, to work out the interest you pay in the following months, you need to first calculate your new balance. So:

**1. **Minus the interest you just calculated from the amount you repaid. This gives you the amount that you have paid off the loan principal.

**2. **Take this amount away from the original principal to find the new balance of your loan.

To work out ongoing interest payments, the easiest way is to break it up into a table. So using the above example, your calculations might look like this:

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## Get A Professional Assessment Of Your Debt Situation

Your job is to educate yourself. If you are carrying a large amount of debt, speak to a professional.

You can find experts by searching in your city. We also have offices across Canada, which you can talk to on the phone, email, or meet in-person.

What does an expert know that you dont? They will teach you about debt restructuring options such as debt consolidation, consumer proposals, informal proposals, and how to approach your creditors with a restructuring offer.

They will also be able to analyze the type of debt you carry and educate you on the right choice for you. You can sometimes reduce your debt with restructuring. For others, bankruptcy might be the right choice.

Heres a list of our offices in your city.

**Ontario **

And finally, here are real stories about debt from Canadians who survived their financial crisis.

## What Is A Comparison Rate On A Car Loan

A comparison interest rate is often seen as a representation of the true cost of the loan since it reflects the interest rate **inclusive of fees** and revert rates , excluding government fees such as stamp duty. For example, a low rate car loan with relatively high upfront and ongoing fees might have a higher comparison rate than its competitors.

Comparison rates are legally required when advertising car loans, just as they are with home loans. This is to make sure the lender is being open and transparent about the actual cost of the loan.

But car loan comparison rates should only be used as a guide they are all calculated based on the costs of a $30,000 car loan over a five-year term, so if youre borrowing substantially more or less over a different loan term, be sure to compare the fees yourself.

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## How To Avoid Paying Credit Card Interest

Of course, none of these interest rate calculations are relevant if your card issuer waives the interest charges. Nearly all card issuers won’t impose interest charges when the entire statement balance is paid in full on or before the due date. The period of time between the statement closing date and the due date is called a grace period.

Technically, interest charges apply during this period, but they are waived if the entire balance is paid in full and on time. By law, credit cards that offer a grace period must give you at least 21 days to avoid interest by paying your balance in full. For more information, see “What Is a Good APR for a Credit Card?”

## What The Vehicle Loan Really Costs

When it comes to APR vs. interest rate, the APR actually takes into account the total finance charge you pay on your loan, including prepaid finance charges such as loan fees and the interest that accumulates before your first loan payment. When shopping for a loan, make sure youre comparing each lenders APR along with the interest rate.

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## How Car Loan Principal Works

The process of paying down loan principal ahead of schedule isnt always straightforward.

Youve probably seen the terms loan principal or loan principal balance floating around on your car loan statement. Whether youre motivated to pay off your loan early or youre considering a car loan refinance, these numbers are important: They tell you how much you initially borrowed and how much you have left to repay.

Paying off your loan principal balance isnt always as simple as writing a check, mailing it to your lender, and saying sayonara to the loan forever. Fine print and fees can potentially throw a wrench in your plans. In this post, we demystify how car loan principal works, how interest affects it, and some roadblocks you might run into if you try to pay it off early.

**2021 Auto Refinance Rates**

## Divide Total Interest By Time

Once you have the total amount of interest you will pay off over the life of the loan, divide this number by the number of years you will be paying on the loan to determine the yearly interest payments. You can then divide this number by twelve to determine the amount of your monthly payment that will be applied to interest. An auto loan calculator available on the Internet can aid in this process, which can help you customize your payment options to fit your budget and financial schedule.

Before you take out a loan for a new or used car, you should calculate the auto loan interest that youll end up paying on the loan. Auto loan terms can be hard to understand sometimes, if not misleading.

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## Should You Pay Your Balance In Full Each Month

Absolutely! As the previous examples illustrate, the best scenario is to pay as much as you can each month. If you pay your credit card bill in full each month, you will never carry a balance. So, you never pay any interest at all. Making these payments will save you lots of money, and you can avoid falling into greater and greater debt.

If you have a credit card that offers rewards with no annual fee, you essentially get paid to use the card and never have to pay the credit card company a dime.

## How To Figure Interest On A Car Loan For The Future

After you begin to pay down your initial principal, you will then be required to determine your new balance to see what you will be paying going forward. Here is how you can calculate these payments:

Errors in the calculation and the fact that the numbers are rounded will cause you to not have an exact calculation each time, but it does give you a good idea on how to calculate the interest rate on a car loan.

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## How Does The Cash Rate Affect Commercial Interest Rates

The cash rate reflects the market interest rate on funds banks lend and borrow from each other overnight. It is set by the Reserve Bank of Australia , which meets on the first Tuesday of every month to discuss any potential moves.

But what does this have to do with commercial interest rates? Simply put, the cash rate serves as a benchmark rate for savings accounts and variable rate home loans. When the RBA raises or lowers the cash rate, banks and lenders tend to modify their own home loan and deposit interest rates soon after.

## Use Our Interest Rate Calculators

If all of that looks like way too much math to stomach, or if you donât have time to become a spreadsheet expert, you can use our handy financial calculators to do the work for you.

Our repayments calculators will tell you the repayment youâll make on a monthly, fortnightly or weekly basis, and give you the total amount of interest youâll wind up paying on your car, personal or home loan. And our credit card debt payment calculator will show you how long it will take you to pay off a credit card debt, plus how much youâll pay in interest and fees.

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