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If you’re not a “numbers” person, finance can be a challenge. You may understand the concepts, but actually doing the math gets confusing. Fortunately, the internet has a variety of credit card and financial calculators to help you figure out:
- how much interest you’ll pay over the life of an installment loan
- how much cash back you’ll earn for purchases on your rewards card
- how long it will take you to pay off your credit card if you make just the minimum payment (or pay more than the minimum)
- how quickly compound interest will add up in your savings account or other investments
- if it pays to transfer a balance to another credit card
Here at CreditShout, we scoured the Web to find some of the best financial calculators to help you understand your loans and investments and better manage your money.
Balance Transfer Calculator
Bankrate.com offers a variety of financial calculators. One of our favorites is the balance transfer calculator. This tool requires some legwork on your part. You’ll need to gather your:
- credit card name
- current balance
- annual fee
- your monthly payment
…as well as the balance transfer fee, introductory APR, terms, and APR after the introductory period for the new card.
With all this information in hand, the program calculates how long it will take you to pay off your credit card under the new terms, as well as how much you will pay in interest and fees before you pay it off. It also offers comparison charts to see how long it will take you to pay off your card making just the minimum payment v. making more than the minimum (you set the amount you would like to pay).
Even though credit card companies now publish this information on your monthly statement, this calculator lets you figure out how quickly you could pay off your credit card making a fixed monthly payment that is more than the minimum and compare the results.
- Your current balance
- The interest rate
- How the interest is calculated
- How much you could pay each month
After inputting this information you’ll see how much more quickly you can pay off your credit card (and how much you’ll save in interest) by paying a fixed monthly amount that is more than the minimum payment.
Compound Interest Calculator
We like the compound interest calculator at Moneychimp.com because it’s got an easy-to-use interface. Just enter your initial principle, how much money you’ll put into the account annually, how many times per year the interest is compounded (enter 365 if it’s compounded daily) and your interest rate to see how much money you’ll have at the end of a specific time period, which you also enter into the calculator.
Credit Card Payoff Calculator
Bankrate.com has another winner with its “credit card payoff calculator.” Is your goal to be debt-free in 12 months? Enter your current credit card balance, current interest rate, and how soon you’d like to pay off the card, and this calculator tells you how much you need to pay every month. You can also go the other way, entering how much you can afford as a fixed monthly payment, and the credit card calculator will tell you how long it will take you to get out of debt.
Best Cash Back Credit Card Calculator
I always get confused figuring out how much cash back I’ll earn on my different credit cards for purchases. CreditShout’s best cash back credit card calculator lets me see which are the best cash back credit cards for me, based on my personal spending habits.
Just enter how much you spend monthly in the following categories, and this calculator shows you which credit card will give you the best cash back rewards each month — and how much you’ll earn per year.
Is it time to apply for a new card or make a balance transfer to earn better cash back rewards or pay off your debt more quickly? These financial calculators will help you find out.