How To Use a Payoff Calculator For Debt Reduction

A debt calculator is a device you can find online which will help you figure out how long it will take you to pay off certain debts. Using a debt calculator is fairly easy and can be a helpful tool in creating your budget. Here are some steps to take when using a debt calculator.

  1. Have your debt information on hand. The debt calculator will require you to enter things like how much you owe, what you pay per month, and interest rates. Before you begin to calculate, make sure to have that information on hand. This kind of information can usually be found on billing statements or by checking your account online. The more data you have on hand, the quicker and easier using the debt calculator will be.
  2. Find the right debt calculator for your needs. There are all sorts of debt calculators on the Internet. Some of them help calculate how long it will take to pay off overall debt, including credit cards and house payments. Others are geared toward credit card debt only. Some, called debt-ratio calculators, will help you see how much of your money you owe compared to how much you make; this lets you see if you're a good risk for receiving loans. So, find a debt calculator that helps you get the information you're looking for.

    Also, be careful of debt calculators interlaced with advertising links or that ask you to sign up for something before you use the calculator.  This is absolutely unnecessary.  Good debt calculators can be found at news sites like CNN and MSN as well as other business-oriented websites.

  3. Enter the required information. Once you find a calculator that can help you, follow the prompts given and enter the information required to get your calculation. Along with your debt, monthly payments, and interest rates, the calculator also might ask you for your income. Once you have entered the right information, hit the calculate function and you will have your debt calculations for further use.

    Once you get your estimated "payoff time," you can also use some calculators in something like reverse, or in other words, you can put in the time frame in which you'd like to finish paying off your bills and the calculator can help you figure out how much you will have to pay per month to make that goal happen.

  4. Analyze what the calculations mean to you. After you have used the debt calculator, take a look at the numbers and what they might mean for your future budget. Should you be paying more than your monthly minimum? Do you need to transfer some balances to lower interest rate cards? Do you need to stop spending for a while to "catch up" with your debt? Can you afford that big purchase? These are all questions a debt calculator can bring up and help you answer. Once you have the answers, you can start revising your current budget to more closely meet your goals.

A debt calculator can help you see your financial situation and your financial future clearly. It can also help you make plans to change that financial future in a way that better suits your overall goals.


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