Before you start shopping, you should figure out how much you can afford to spend on a new or used car. Luckily, Birchwood Credit Solutions has a nifty online tool to help you determine your budget. We’ll show you how our Car Loan Calculator works and explain why it’s beneficial for every customer.
The principal is the total cost of the vehicle, including taxes, loan administration fees and any add-ons you choose. The term is the length of time that payments will be made on the loan — typical terms range from 36 months to 72 months. The interest rate is the percentage the lender is charging you to borrow.
Birchwood’s Car Loan Calculator takes all of these into consideration to give you an idea of what your monthly loan payments will be under different circumstances.
The Car Loan Calculator is easy to use and gives you a range of monthly payment possibilities based on your financial and credit situation.
Step 1: Select the price of your vehicle on the first sliding scale. This number represents your principal and ranges from $5,000 to $50,000. If you’ve already been shopping around, try to be as accurate as possible with this number.
Step 2: Choose the duration, or term, of your loan. Slide the dial between one and 72 months to see how different terms affect your projected monthly payment.
Step 3: Pick which credit category you fall under. It’s ok if you don’t know your credit score, the choices are broad and give a general idea of how interest rates can affect your payments. Customers with higher credit scores can usually access lower interest rates and therefore have lower monthly payments than those with poor credit.
Play around with the different options to find a monthly payment that works with your budget. Maybe that means opting for a less expensive vehicle or choosing a loan with a longer term. Whatever the case may be, the Calculator is a good way to visualize the purchase.
A car is a big purchase and the total cost goes beyond the sticker price. You should consider everything from maintenance to gas to insurance and loan payments making a budget.
A budget can also help you decide if you are able to make a down payment and if you should buy a new or used vehicle. New vehicles are more expensive and they depreciate in value faster than used cars. On the other hand, buying new means you’re covered under the manufacturer’s warranty if anything goes wrong in the first few years of ownership. Used cars are cheaper upfront, but may require more maintenance in the long run.
In addition to your projected monthly loan payments, you should make sure your budget has room for all of these other car ownership costs.
Whatever your budget, Birchwood Credit Solutions can help you finance a vehicle that fits your lifestyle. Applying for our flexible in-house financing is fast and easy. Fill out an online application or get in touch to learn more about our services.