How to Use a Car Financing Calculator

You may not crunch the numbers when it’s time to buy a new TV or couch, but once you start thinking about a bigger purchase, it’s smart to do some planning. Financially savvy Detroit drivers use a car financing calculator to plan for what they can afford before even stepping foot in the dealership, but how do you use a car financing calculator to estimate your monthly car loan payment? Read on to learn how to plan for your next car.

Calculate Your Monthly Car Payment

There are two ways to estimate your budget and calculate your monthly car payment:

  • Plan based around a certain vehicle you have your eye on
  • Plan what you can afford based around your ideal monthly payment

If you already have a vehicle in mind, using our monthly car payment calculator is easy, you just need to fill out these fields:

  • Total Purchase Price
  • Term (months)
  • Interest Rate
  • Rebates and Cash Down
  • Trade Allowance
  • Amount Owed on Trade (if any)
  • Fees
  • Sales Tax Rate

Then just press “calculate” and look at what your estimated monthly car payment will be and view a graph that breaks down principal and interest over time.

Estimate Your New Car Budget

If you don’t have a particular vehicle in mind and are planning to go shopping, it’s good to know what your monthly budget can afford. You can use the same car payment calculator to estimate your budget for a new car by inputting your maximum monthly payment. Where it says “Calculate For,” select “Purchase Payment” and fill out these fields

  • Monthly Payment
  • Term (months)
  • Interest Rate
  • Rebates and Cash Down
  • Trade Allowance
  • Amount Owed on Trade (if any)
  • Fees
  • Sales Tax Rate

Using our car payment calculator this way can let you know your spending capabilities and might even let you drive a nicer car (with affordable insurance coverage) and turn some heads around Romulus or Detroit.

Why Choose a Credit Union for a Car Loan

Unless you’re planning to purchase your vehicle outright, you’ll probably want a car loan — and you should visit your Detroit-area credit union for one. While dealership car loans are convenient — you can apply while you’re taking a test drive — they also have you under a kind of pressure: if you want to leave with the car you’ve got your heart set on, you have to take one of the loans they present, which might not be best for you. You can apply for a car loan at a credit union, though, receive all of the benefits of a bank or dealership loan, and know your spending budget when going shopping for your next car.

It’s a win-win. Now that you know what your budget is like for your next car, visit a Public Service Credit Union location near you to get approved for a car loan today — and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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