Chapter 5

Calculating Loan Payments and Interest Rates

IN THIS CHAPTER

Bullet Formatting monetary values

Bullet Working with loan calculations

A penny saved is a penny earned. A penny by itself is not much. But add a little savings here and there over the life of a loan, and the sum could be significant! Just think of what you can do with the extra money — extend a vacation, give it to charity, or save it for a rainy day.

Taking out a car loan, a mortgage, or another type of loan involves planning how you want to manage the loan payments. In the simplest terms, all you may need to know is the amount of your monthly payment. But knowing the components of a loan and being able to compare one loan with another can help you manage your financial resources in your own best interest.

Consider an auto loan, one of the most common loan types. The factors involved include the cost of the vehicle, the down payment, the length of the loan, and the interest rate. Excel can help you see how all these factors affect your bottom line, letting you make the best decision (I would love to get a Ferrari, but a Hyundai will have to do).

You can use the financial functions in Excel to crunch the numbers for your loans. You supply these functions the relevant numbers: the principal amount, the interest rate, the ...

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