Car Affordability Calculator

This calculator will help you to compute how much car you can afford.

Down payment amount you can afford ($):
Monthly payment amount you can afford ($):
Expected annual interest rate (%):
Loan term (# of months):
Value of your trade-in ($):
Cash rebate to be added to down payment ($):
You will be able to afford a vehicle that costs:
Loan amount you would need to qualify for:

How Much Car Can You Truly Afford?

Purchases made outside your individual means lead to inconsistent repayment and potential problems for cash-strapped borrowers.  It is important to keep pace with payments, or adverse credit entries quickly degrade your financial status.  While individual financial conditions fluctuate over time, and the ability to repay loans might require refinancing or other adjustments during payback, the surest way to avoid financial faltering is to borrow within your means.

Various indexes exist, advising consumers about prudent credit strategies.  Affordability calculator contributes to your resources for evaluating what you can afford to buy.

Budgeting for Repayment

Car loans are issued under various terms and conditions, carrying unique interest rates and payback terms.  Because they are extended for multiple years, car loans have relatively low interest rates compared to other forms of available credit.

The original amount you borrow to secure a vehicle represents the principal balance of your loan.  Principal payments are spread out, broken-down into manageable chunks paid over time.  Once you've made the last principal payment, your repayment responsibilities are completely satisfied, and your loan is off the books.

Principal isn't the only payback obligation though, so budgeting for automobile purchases requires further analysis.  Affordability calculator helps bring the details together, providing comprehensive long-term views.

Interest is another essential feature of auto loan repayment, adding to each month's total debt obligation.  Since cars are big-ticket items, they take some time to pay for.  Failing to anticipate future interest expenses is a sure path toward auto loan meltdown, which occurs when borrowers cannot keep pace with repayment.  Vehicle loan rates are surprisingly low, especially when compared to products like credit cards, which carry extremely high annual percentage rates.

Annual Percentage Rate

APR is the number representing the total interest rates attached to loans over a year's time.  The number provides a consistent reference point for car shoppers, illuminating the differences between deals offered by car dealerships.  Recently, to increase affordability during a significant economic downturn, car dealers and manufacturers put-forward financing offers without interest. 0% APR is a rare circumstance, prompting buyers to jump-in when they otherwise might not.  Under normal conditions, automobile interest rates are competitive single-digit loan add-ons, which vary incrementally depending on prevailing economic conditions.

In addition to standard low rates, car sellers incorporate promotions and incentives into loan pricing.  By watching the market, car buyers learn when rates are most favorable, prompting cost-effective buying.  Interest works with principal, determining how much you pay for your car each month, and how long it takes to satisfy your debt.  Affordability calculations blend the figures, providing a wide-angle view of your ability to meet car payment obligations in the future.

Vehicle Purchase Offsets

In addition to seeking the best available interest rates, car buyers lower their overall debt responsibilities by taking advantage of cost-reduction opportunities.  Vehicle trade-ins, for example pay buyers for turning in their old vehicles.  First, a determination is made about your cars value, based on widely accepted industry valuation standards.  Once your purchase price has been nailed-down, the trade-in value of your car is taken off the top, lowering your total payback responsibility, and increasing your affordability index.