Consolidation Loan Investment Calculator
Getting a consolidation loan can do more than payoff your debt. You can create a sizeable nest egg by investing all or a portion of your monthly payment savings. After a few years the results may surprise you! Use this calculator to see the results of paying off your debt and investing your payment savings. Click the "View Report" button for a detailed look at your results.
- Credit cards
- Enter one total credit card debt and its average interest rate, or press the "Details" button to enter up to 10 credit card accounts, one on each line.
- Auto loans
- Click on the "Details" button to enter any auto loans you may have. The details page is designed to let you enter your current monthly payment, the term (in months), the starting balance and the number of months you have left. It then calculates your outstanding balance and interest rate. You can enter up to three installment loans.
- Other loans
- Click on the "Details" button to enter any additional installment loans you may have in the details page. This page is designed to let you enter your current monthly payment, the term (in months), the starting balance and the number of months you have left. It then calculates your outstanding balance and interest rate. You can enter up to six installment loans.
- Your total current balances for your credit cards, auto loans and other loans.
- Interest rates
- The average annual percentage rate you pay. This interest rate is calculated for each of the categories of debt you have including credit cards, auto loans and other installment loans. For credit cards, the rate you enter is used to calculate the interest on all future credit card payments. The length of time to pay off this credit card may be much greater than calculated if you enter a low promotional interest rate that is only good for a short period of time.
- This is your initial monthly payment. For credit cards, if you checked the "use credit card minimum payments" box on the details page, your monthly payment is calculated as 2% of your current outstanding balance. With the "use credit card minimum payments" box checked, your monthly payment will decrease as your balance is paid down. This can greatly increase the length of time it takes to pay off your credit cards. Uncheck this box to enter your own monthly payment that will remain the same until your balance is paid in full.
(We calculate your minimum monthly as 4% of your current outstanding balance or $15 which ever is more. While your actual minimum monthly payment may be slightly different, this is one of the most common methods used by credit card companies to calculate minimum payments.)
- Loan balance
- This is the total loan amount you are planning on receiving. This amount must be at least equal to your total outstanding debt plus any fees. If you choose to receive a larger loan amount than your outstanding debt, plus any fees, the additional amount is added to the starting balance of your investment.
- Loan term
- The length of time you will repay this loan. The investment timeframe for this calculator also uses the loan term. This can be from one to 30 years.
- Loan interest rate
- The annual interest rate you are charged for this loan. This calculator assumes that your payments are made monthly and that interest is compounded monthly.
- Percent to invest
- This is the percentage of your monthly payment savings you wish to invest. Any remaining payment savings is used to repay your loan. For example, if you have a monthly payment savings of $100 and choose to invest 75%, $75 would be invested and $25 would be an additional amount applied to your loan balance.
- Rate of return
- This is the annual rate of return you expect from your investment. The actual rate of return is largely dependent on the type of investments you select. The S&P 500 for the ten years ending on December 31st, 2011 had an annual compounded rate of return of 2.92%, including reinvestment of dividends. From January 1970 through the end of 2011, the average annual compounded rate of return for the S&P 500, including reinvestment of dividends, was approximately 10.01% (source: www.standardandpoors.com). Since 1970, the highest 12-month return was 61% (June 1982 through June 1983). The lowest 12-month return was -43% (March 2008 to March 2009). Savings accounts at a bank may pay as little as 0.25% or less but carry significantly lower risk of loss of principal balances.
It is important to remember that these scenarios are hypothetical and that future rates of return can't be predicted with certainty and that investments that pay higher rates of return are generally subject to higher risk and volatility. The actual rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long-term investments. This includes the potential loss of principal on your investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index and the compounded rate of return noted above does not reflect sales charges and other fees that funds and/or investment companies may charge.